Faith / Holiday Musings

The Joy and Grief of Christmas

I love the Christmas season. I love the twinkling lights and the decorations, the jolly and joyful spirits. I love snowmen and trees and childhood glee. Just the thought of Christmas fills my heart with delight. Even as I write this, Christmas music is blaring. for KING & COUNTRY’s new Christmas CD is up and The Scruffy Princess keeps thinking the awesome bass is someone at the door. Silly pup!

I love buying presents for my loved ones. When I find something I know they will love, my inner child comes out and I fairly burst trying to keep it a secret. I love wrapping presents and placing them under a beautifully decorated tree. I love the look of joy and delight – and sometimes tears – when my family opens their gifts. Oh yes, I love a good tear jerker gift. (Head’s up to my family, you’re all getting one this year!)

I think you get the idea. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!

I also know that Christmas can be incredibly difficult.

Not everyone has a loving family. Some people are still in quarantine all alone. Some families are grieving the illness or death of a loved one. I’m not going to lie, 2020 has been brutal in many ways. It has been tragic and heartbreaking and so incredibly unfair.

I want to encourage you with something important. There’s room for both joy and grief. Just a couple of weeks ago my precious grandma Margaret passed into the arms of Jesus. She was my last living grandparent and I still can’t quite believe she is gone. As I write, more than one friend is fighting for their life. Other close friends are facing major battles with their health and chronic illnesses. There is so much pain and uncertainty, yet there is hope because of Jesus.

The week my grandma was passing away I won two awards for my writing. I couldn’t be with her during those last days because of my own chronic illness issues and my heart was breaking. At the same time, my heart was rejoicing and celebrating with writer friends during an online conference and awards ceremony. I wrote about this confusing experience and if you’d like to read it, you can do so here.

The holiday season is a time for adventures and traditions. But 2020. Christmas is probably going to look a little different this year. We may not be able to do everything we usually do, but that’s exciting too. We have the opportunity to discover new traditions.

This Christmas we have the opportunity to DO less and BE more. #Christmas2020

We have more time to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. We have the opportunity to remember the reason for the season is Jesus. He is our greatest gift. He is the Light of the world. He’s our Comfort and Hope. He is our Joy.

I’m going to say it again. There is room for pain and joy to coexist. Let’s allow ourselves to feel the extra emotions of this year. Let’s not dismiss this season, instead let’s choose to look for Joy in the midst of our pain.

I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I pray that the Light of the world, Jesus, will fill your heart with love and joy. Here’s to new traditions and deeper intimacy with the Christ of Christmas.

“‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel’ (which means, God with us).” ~Matthew 1:23, ESV



NOTE: This will be my last blog post of 2020. Things may look different around here in 2021. I’m toying with moving to a podcast format. If that’s something you’d like, let me know in the comments!

About Author

I'm the author of "Howie's Broken Hee-Haw," a photographer, and lover of all things adventurous. I'll walk alongside you and help you discover joy for your journey and freedom in Christ!


  • mimionlife
    December 10, 2020 at 9:10 am

    Josie, I am thinking of you and your family. Losing a loved one is hard. Each holiday is a “first” without our loved ones. I pray you find strength and comfort in the Lord. Merry Christmas! Hugs.

    • Josie Siler
      December 10, 2020 at 12:05 pm

      Thank you, Melissa. Hugs back! I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas.

  • Kathy
    December 12, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    What an insightful post! I’m sorry for your Grandma Margaret’s passing! Thank you for writing about how joy and grief can coexist. I pray you and you family will have a blessed Christmas!

    • Josie Siler
      December 12, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Thank you so much, Kathy. Merry Christmas! I wish you and your family the best!

  • Molly Jo Realy
    January 19, 2021 at 8:26 pm

    I’m late to the season, but I think your message is timely whether it’s Christmas or not. Hugs to you, and yes. Yes! Do a podcast! (I have it on authority that FiF might be coming back this year as well…)

    • Josie Siler
      January 19, 2021 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Molly Jo, hugs back! That would be amazing if FiF came back this year. I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m working on getting a podcast going. Pray for me!


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