You might think that the song “Blue Christmas” originated with Elvis Presley, but although the King made it hugely popular, it first hit #1 on the charts eight years earlier, recorded by The Grand Ole Opry Star Ernest Tubb. Up until then, Tubb was most famous for “Walking the Floor Over You.” Both are very mournful ditties — and no particular connection except for the Blues.

If Joy to the World is elusive and you are questioning your faith, go to a church, even if you sit alone in darkness. If you are facing the struggle of addiction recovery, which is particularly difficult during the holidays, dealing with losses great or small, unforeseen hardships and devastating life changes that put a question mark over the future, whatever is breaking your heart, know that increasing numbers of churches are creating sacred space for people living through dark times. Some churches hold a service of worship on the longest night of the year, which falls on or about Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice, holding out healing and hope.

My Christmas this year is going to be very different, so I decided that I, and others like me, should do what we used to love doing, even though it’s a struggle. I was a wild woman, totally over the top doing Christmas decorating — even my grandkids remarked “Oma, you can’t put two different garlands on the mantle!” They watched in awe as the Dickens lighted village buildings and figurines were brought out of their bubble wrap and boxes. Carefully, they placed the chimney sweep next to the country inn because it had the most chimneys, pointed the happy children in the direction of the marionette shop, and the wainwright facing the horse and carriage trotting over the snow. Lights in each building were tested and approved, and the grand post-and-picket fence was painstakingly assembled in front of the gray stone church.

When I downsized to a lovely second floor apartment last winter, I sold all my Christmas paraphernalia at my moving sale. Then I found the perfect, on-sale and already-assembled artificial Christmas tree and a friend gave me two bags of wonderful vintage ornaments — even lovelier than the Waterford Crystal adornments.

Look up and the sky is blue. Look around and count your blessings instead of your losses. Look at the faces of those you love — and those who love you. Look into the mirror and smile. Look into the past and remember the Blues Brothers: “After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the ‘Blues Brothers.’ Jake’s first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing. They need $5,000 to pay property taxes and stay in business. ‘Joliet’ Jake and Elwood visit the evangelical church service of Cleophus James (played brilliantly by James Brown), where Jake suddenly sees the light. ‘It’s a mission from God!’ They had to put their old band The Blues Brothers back together, put on a show and collect enough dough to save the orphanage. All they have to do is find their old bandmates.” — Wikipedia

Look for your mission — and do that!

Connecticut Media Group