Bittersweet by Robin Densmore Fuson


Are your feelings bittersweet? Do tears come quickly?

I love Christmas with all the lights, decorations, and music. I sang in a twenty-voice madrigal group for many years. Our conductor was wonderful. The committee picked perfect pieces and the instrumentalist were fantastic. We started our music for the Christmas season in August. For those few months, we intently practiced, wrote and worked out the choreography, and memorized a minimum of a dozen songs. We met on Monday nights and one Saturday a month until the last few weeks when we added more rehearsals. The last concert was always bittersweet. We made it—four concerts to packed houses all free to the community which included childcare. But alas, we wouldn’t meet again until next August. We only performed at Christmas.

Our music was a mix of Santa and presents, snow and frolic, and most importantly focusing on the Christ child and the events surrounding His birth.

Those years were special to me. I loved singing and hearing the tight harmonies around my soprano. Sometimes I was blessed by singing solos. I made good friends and some will last a lifetime.

The date on the calendar has no bearing on what goes on in people’s lives. December 25th doesn’t care if your life is bubbly and happy, or calm and demur, or filled with devastation and loss. After all, it’s just a number, but is it?

God sent His Son, on a day, a long time ago to be born. Throughout the centuries, most of the world celebrated that day on December 25th. A shift in the focus on that designated date has happened around the world. A lot of people now regard the 25th as a holiday to exchange gifts and think about Santa and good thoughts toward others. The word Christmas has been erased from their vocabulary. How sad.

Does God care what date we celebrate His son’s birth? I think not. I believe He wants us to celebrate His Son, Jesus every day. The Lord Jesus Christ should be celebrated every calendar day as the baby born in a stable, who grew up and walked on this earth interacting with people and was crucified in a brutal death to save the world from their sin. That’s what we should be celebrating!

When your world is rocked with horrible happenings, sickness, financial trouble, natural disaster, relationship wreckage, or death of one close to you, it’s almost impossible to enjoy this time of year and especially December 25th called Christmas.

Some of my precious loved ones have gone to heaven too soon and the first Christmas without them was awful. Sad. Hurtful. Tears came and easily. The heart became heavy with grief.


Depending on the sorrow, the mixture is different. It can be more bitter than sweet or sometimes more sweet than bitter. Bitter, because of our loss. Sweet, because of their gain and our knowledge we will see them again.

Is your Christmas season bittersweet? Mine is. All my grandparents are in heaven. Twelve years since my grandbaby and my husband, David went on to be with the Lord. Even though it was in 2009, the loss is there. The hurt never goes away. If you struggle with loss, I give you a virtual hug. Try to focus on the long term, when you will see them again. Focus on what their life is NOW like.

I picture my granddaughter laughing and playing on the streets of gold and picking flowers. Eliana grandfather is close by as well as other relatives. But most important is Eliana's Lord and Savior Jesus Christ watching her play and enjoying her laughter. He made a wonderful place for her and He wanted Eliana there to be in close communion with Him.

My husband, Jimmy had major surgery three weeks ago and so we are alone this Christmas. We had plans to travel and be with family but that changed. I feel bittersweet. Bitter that I can’t be with others—grandchildren, children, parents, etc. But sweet because I have my love with me. We are together and he is on the mend. I pray we have other times when we can be with our loved ones.

So dear one, bittersweet is a feeling that comes on many of us at this time when celebrations happen around us. It’s okay to be sad. But don’t let it pull you down into the depths of despair. Think about the good times. Do something you enjoy. Pray. Reach out to others. Try to engage in the celebration by putting your focus on Jesus Christ and His birth, life, teachings, and death for you.


Read Luke 2:1-20 for the Christmas message in a nutshell. I try to follow the shepherd’s example. …glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told them. (Luke 2:20b NKJV)

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