40 Days of Joy


(Author’s Note:  Todays post is more of an educational post for those not grieving.  It is designed to teach one of the main things about Christmas that for a lot of widows/widowers is not joyful. 

Yes, I am ripping off “Harry Potter” but boy is it appropriate.  If you are a widow or widower, you will agree with me.  If not, then enjoy the “song-which-must-not-be-named” because there will come a time in life when it either brings pain or only a teeny tiny bit of joy.)


When I am afraid, I will trust in you.

Psalm 56:3

Now I will not say I am afraid to listen to Christmas Music, but it is the most consistent cause of meltdowns during the holidays.  I have not had one yet this Christmas season and hopefully any meltdown will not last as long as it did last year. 

Christmas 2008

Christmas 2008 was torture.  Everywhere I went  the “song-which-must-not-be-named” would be played over the loudspeaker within 30 seconds of me entering the store.   

In fact, I was talking to a widower the other day.  Last Christmas bothered him but not a whole lot.  That is due to the numbing and protective bubble God provides the first year.  My friend was finding this Christmas harder to manage, especially the music.  He stated “Do you know how many times they play the “song-which-must-not-be-named?”  I can relate to what he is experiencing. 

The “song-which-must-not-be-named” is played over and over and over and over again because it was recorded by every musical artist of the 20th and 21st Century. 

Last Christmas Dinner

My brother-in-law forgot to turn on the radio so we would have Christmas music during dinner last year.  Sure enough the “song-which-must-not-be-named” was playing when he turned the radio on.  I said to myself “Alright Joe, I hear you. Now shut-up!”

Joe’s Wish

Every time I heard the “song-which-must-not-be-named” I figure it is Joe telling me what he wants for me. 

I expect every time I hear the “song-which-must-not-be-named” that Joe is wishing me a Merry Christmas even if it is 10 years from now.  Oh Lord, I hope not to have the same feelings about that song 10 years from now. 

The Reason

God had Ralph Blane and Hugh Martin write the lyrics and music so widows and widowers would have a message from their spouse during the Christmas season. 

Maybe it will not be so painful to listen to if I remarry.  If that is true, then somebody better put a ring on my figure soon.

Trusting God

Every Christmas I have to trust God will help me deal with Christmas music when I am someplace where I have no control over what is played  I find joy in trusting God but the sooner it is easier to listen to Christmas music, the better I will feel. 

As I write this post, I am listening to “Peace On Earth” by Casting Crowns.  I am not having any issues with them, but they are not singing the “song-which-must-not-be-named” either. 


“Peace On Earth” is a beautifully done CD and one I recommend for your collection whether or not you are grieving.


What is the “song-which-must-not-be-named?”

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

Ralph Blane/Hugh Martin

Sung by Judy Garland in “Meet Me In St. Louis”

I would attach a link but that would be cruel and unusual punishment to anyone reading this post who is experiencing grief.

My Wish

If you are experiencing grief this Christmas, hopefully the music will not bother you.  If it does, just ask and trust that God will help you manage. 

May trusting in God bring you joy, even if it is just a little bit.  

Also, take heart in knowing listening to Christmas music does get a little easier each year with God’s help.


“God is in us, God is for us, God is with us, Emmanuel”

“God Is With Us”

Wayne Kirkpatrick

“Peace On Earth” CD

Casting Crowns

To Do:

Repeat the above lyric over and over again.  Use it as a mantra to get through the Christmas season.  I know that is what I will be doing upon hearing Christmas music this year, especially the “song-which-must-not-be-named.”

P.S.  Don’t get excited about a ring on my finger.  Once again, I will not be spending time under the mistletoe with anyone  😦