Tonight while driving across town that iconic seasonal song, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, came on the radio. Many have recorded it but I doubt anyone reaches the heart like the first time America heard it in 1944, Judy Garland’s rendition from the movie Meet Me in St. Louis.
There was a line in that song that caught my ear…
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow…
It’s not exactly a happy and cheerful tune. In fact, in 1957 when Frank Sinatra recorded this song for a Christmas album he asked one of the original co-writers, Hal Martin, to rewrite the line. He did. And when Judy Garland sang it on his television show to a group of children she used the newer, happier line, hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
But the writers were trying to capture in music what many feel in their hearts during the holiday season. And it’s not just a few. A survey reported in Psychology Today suggested that in North America 45% of people dread the holiday season. They posted some good strategies for making it through (see link below).
Yes, there are strategies … good ones… and if we put the effort into it we can overcome the sadness of this time of year for those who are growing increasingly in debt buying things they cannot afford. There are the ones who stress and strain to have everything exactly perfect for the holidays, and who feel crushed by that. And there are those who are separated from family members through distance, divorce, or death. I could get all practical here…but just for now I’d like to say that sometimes all we can really do is just muddle through somehow.
Try not to judge the muddlers. There’s no request for anyone to fix anything. The solutions are, in the end, not conclusive. Next year may be better or it may not. Maybe that’s one thing those who are muddling through have that others may miss. The promise of Advent: Jesus is coming. We may be muddling through until then, but we do so with hope.
So if you’re just trying to make it through this year… and you can’t quite get the energy together to join in with the celebrations … it’s ok. Another favorite Christmas hymn reminds us that in the weariness of the day, there is yet the thrill of hope.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Soul felt it’s worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Yes, the day is coming when the weary world will once again rejoice. We await that day.
Thanks for reading, JD