“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me”
That song, co-written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson, and made famous by Elvis Presley, has a deeper meaning for anyone who has ever celebrated a Christmas without someone they love.
Here in Vancouver Island, such lyrics can touch a higher percentage of the population than in many communities, for a couple of reasons.
With our large number of military personnel, there are many families who will be separated this Christmas. Celebrations will be hollow, as civilian spouses, and children, will undoubtedly spend much of the holidays thinking about their deployed husband or wife, mother or father.
They will hope, as do we all, for a safe return home, and maybe next Christmas the family will be as one.
For others, this Christmas will produce a less hopeful feeling.
For those who have lost someone dear to them this year, the Christmas season will be a struggle; and with our Island’s demographics, it is safe to assume that this Christmas season will be a struggle for many.
And while the first Christmas is always the toughest, for many, it takes years for the Christmas season to evoke anything other than feelings of sadness, especially when the source of the sadness involves someone who died close to Christmas Day.
So when you see someone during your travels this Christmas season, and they don’t acknowledge your greeting, or don’t return your smile as you pass them on the street, don’t automatically assume they are simply a ‘Grinch.’ They could be, and likely are, suffering inside.
Rather than mumble under your own breath, simply wish them well, and hope that perhaps the sincerity of your greeting will help brighten, even for a moment, what could be an extremely dark time.
If you are celebrating this Christmas, enjoy.
If you are mourning this Christmas, we offer our sympathies, and hope next Christmas will be easier for you.