(it doesn't have to be a) Blue Christmas
The mother of theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer was familiar with the ache of goodbye. It’s said that Paula Bonhoeffer ran alongside the train carrying her oldest son, Walter, away to war saying, “It’s only space that separates us.”
Distance from those we love isn’t comforting (most of the time – ha), but it’s something many of us learn to accept. Well…at least until the holidays arrive and the missing intensifies. Songs like “Blue Christmas” can make you want to eat a plate of cutout cookies with a side of tears, but it's possible to be close even when you’re far away.
Here are some ideas to help you celebrate with those you can't be with in person this Christmas:
- Read the Christmas story together.
- Join forces to bless someone else (make a donation, etc.).
- Start a book exchange each year.
- Mail silly socks to one another.
- Send a life-size cutout of yourself in the mail. (I saw this funny idea online and hope it makes you laugh too. Just promise me you’ll send a picture if you actually do it!)
- Have a meal or goodies delivered.
- Mail a handwritten note and share your favorite Christmas memory with them.
- Have a pajama night (bonus points if it’s a onesie) and play a virtual game together.
- Watch a Christmas movie at the same time.
- Have gingerbread house competition.
- Create a collage picture each year (my siblings and I do this wearing Christmas cat shirts).
- Make cookies together via video and stuff your faces.
These are just a few ideas and I’d love to learn some of yours in the comments!
Proximity doesn’t make a relationship – it’s the result of intentional communication and memory making. It really is “only” space that separates us. Love well from where you are and celebrate the One who forever unites us together.