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Maybe you needed this reminder this Christmas?

I wanted to post an upbeat and cheerful, “Merry Christmas from our family” type post. And yet, I keep thinking of the many for whom Christmas is just bittersweet… or maybe plain sad.

I think of the kids in foster care who are separated from their parents and families this year.

I think of the women who have written me in the last few weeks about losing their husbands this year.

I think of the singles who thought surely they’d be sharing this Christmas with a special someone.

I think of the families who are struggling financially who couldn’t really afford to do much for Christmas this year.

I think of the moms who lost babies this year and the women who so desperately wish for a healthy pregnancy.

I think of the couples whose marriages are on the brink of divorce or whose spouse walked out on them this year for someone or something else.

I think of the families with estranged loved ones who would give anything to get to celebrate with them this year — or even to just hear something from them.

I think of those undergoing chemo, those waiting for a difficult diagnosis, those who are in chronic pain, those caring for a loved one who is dying.

I just want you to know that if you are struggling with sadness or heartache or disappointment this Christmas, I see you. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. And I’m pausing in the middle of this week to remember you, to hurt for you, and to pray for you. You are not forgotten.

And if you are having a wonderful Christmas season, I’m thrilled for you! But please remember to look around and show some extra love and kindness toward those for whom Christmas feels anything like the, “most wonderful time of the year.” The world could use a lot more kindness, empathy, and compassion.

P.S. If you are struggling this Christmas season, it would be my honor to stop and pray for you by name. Just leave a comment with your name and/or special request and I will take time to pray for you this week. Even in the middle of your pain and darkness, I want you to know that you are loved.

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  • Lili says:

    Please pray for my peace.
    Thank you

  • Lola says:

    I hope it’s ok if I copy and share this. I’ll make sure to credit you. This is so beautiful.

  • Maria Caravantes says:

    My name is Maria and my oldest has runaway from home so this Xmas I’m home with my youngest not much in the mood to celebrate.

  • Lori says:

    For marriages and those who are struggling with health issues. Thank you so much for remembering us. God bless you and your family.

  • Saima says:

    Please pray for my family, especially my son who has been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 2 weeks ago. He is 12 years old and his name is Raza.
    Thank you

  • Stephanie Downing says:

    Hi Crystal, Our family would appreciate your prayers as our 2-year-old nephew, Lincoln, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer on Friday. He is the youngest of 4. We also have 4 children and live just a few blocks away from them. Needless to say, we’re all in shock and are feeling heartbroken this Christmas. Thank-you for your prayers.

  • G says:

    Will you please pray for us this Christmas? This year has been hard. My oldest son is suffering with anxiety and depression. My daughter is struggling with some choices my husband made. Choices that hurt the whole family, an emotional affair. This Christmas has been extra painful and tough.

  • Susan says:

    Crystal, thank you for this. I’m not loving being single this year. Being 44 and never married, it hasn’t bothered me this much in the past, but this year it just seems so much worse. I have amazing friends and am spending Christmas with my family, but carrying the sadness of being along. Thank you for your prayers!

  • Ellen Bordman says:

    Wonderful post, Crystal. Thank you!

  • Carolyn Price says:

    Please pray for me and my family. We have estranged family we are grieving. Cancer, Aneurysms, Chronic pain, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, strokes, the health of our 88 years old mama. And other things. We desperately need all the prayers we can get. Thank you so much.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours.

  • Patti says:

    Crystal, I would greatly appreciate a prayer for my children and they may find peace this year.

  • Sarah says:

    Bells Across the Snow

    O Christmas, merry Christmas!
    Is it really come again,
    With its memories and greetings,
    With its joy and with its pain?
    There’s a minor in the carol,
    And a shadow in the light,
    And a spray of cypress twining
    With the holly wreath to-night.
    And the hush is never broken
    By laughter light and low,
    As we listen in the starlight
    To the “bells across the snow.”

    O Christmas, merry Christmas!
    ‘Tis not so very long
    Since other voices blended
    With the carol and the song!
    If we could but hear them singing
    As they are singing now,
    If we could but see the radiance
    Of the crown on each dear brow;
    There would be no sigh to smother,
    No hidden tear to flow,
    As we listen in the starlight
    To the “bells across the snow.”

    O Christmas, merry Christmas!
    This never more can be;
    We cannot bring again the days
    Of our unshadowed glee.
    But Christmas, happy Christmas,
    Sweet herald of good-will,
    With holy songs of glory
    Brings holy gladness still.
    For peace and hope may brighten,
    And patient love may glow,
    As we listen in the starlight
    To the “bells across the snow.”

    Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879)

  • Rachel says:

    Please pray for my friend Melissa whose son was born sleeping yesterday at 39 weeks. Please pray for her, her fiancee, and her daughters who are all devastated.

  • Lea Ann says:

    You can pray for my sister who is struggling this Christmas. thank you for being so thoughtful to seek out the hurt and lonely.

    On a lighter note, EVERY ONE of the gifts I purchased from your kids’ lists of popular items this Christmas was a hit for my kids!! So THANK YOU Paine kids for the ideas 😁

  • Lisa Limper says:

    Crystal, thank you for this and Merry Christmas to you and your family. Please pray for my career and that I will meet a special man. God bless you,

  • Christy says:

    Merry Christmas Crystal.
    Thanks for your post …will you please pray for my son in bootcamp thru the holidays…that he makes it thru to the end and graduates.
    Thank You,

  • Jackie says:

    My husband and I lost our 42 year old son on Dec. 29th 1017. He was on his way to work and had a accident with a big rig. It wasn’t his fault but he died and the man driving the truck wasn’t even hurt. It’s been a hard 2 years. He wasn’t here to celebrate his brother’s wedding in November. I save Christmas boxes if they are reusable and several had my oldest sons name on them and no one would use them. It’s just been really hard for my husband and I and our other children.
    Please pray that the hurt will go away.

    A Jew 4 Jesus

  • Jessica Worden says:

    Jessica, please pray our family’s financial situation improves.

  • Shannon says:

    Please pray for me and my family. I lost my mom to lung cancer on December 14th. I am really struggling as I miss her so much.

  • Lindsey S says:

    I’m dealing with a rebellious child who is turning her back on the faith we raised her with.

  • Ally says:

    Please pray with my husband and I that God would fulfill our desire for children. Sometimes the road seems too long and the future seems oh so daunting, but we are grateful for a merciful and loving Heavenly Father. <3 Thank you, Crystal!

  • Sarah says:

    I’m praying for all these requests. May God meet every need and even fulfill some “wants” for his beloved children. We trust Him and ask it in Jesus’ name. May God’s will be done, for our good and for his glory. Amen.

  • Jennifer Milton says:

    I was just diagnosed with breast cancer the day before Thanksgiving. I will start chemotherapy, surgery and radiation soon. Can you please say a prayer that I will get through the treatments and surgery? I have some health issues that have some odds stacked against me. I am more terrified than I have ever been in my life. Please also a prayer for my significant other as he is struggling with this and is scared also. Thank you so very much. Bless you and your family.

  • Jennifer Milton says:

    Also, a prayer for immediate healing. I know that God has the ability to heal me before any treatments or surgery occurs. Thank you again.

  • Cindy says:

    I loved your piece and your loving offer to pray for any of us leaves tears in my eyes and wonderment that someone would offer to do this. With much appreciation I am asking you to pray for my much loved sister in law, Shirley. We’ve known each other 56 years, she’s a great person. She has COPD and it’s getting worse, so tough for her.

    Thank you sweetie.

  • Julia says:

    Hi Crystal,

    Follower since the law school days. I could use some prayers this year, for my husband to find the job of his dreams, for me and my husband to return to optimal health, for my family to drop their anger and fear and find peace, for my mother in law to return to good health and peace and for my husband and I to find a new safe place to live.
    Thank you,
    Merry Christmas!

  • Kelley says:

    I needed your post this year. I lost my remaining Grandmother in August, have been struggling financially all year. Returned to work (From home) but struggling with my health issues and following the rules at work. My husband has his own health issues (disabled veteran) and was forced to drop out of school. This has cut our finances by about 1700/month. We *still* make too much for SNAP and state health care and have now been kicked off.

    We need financial security and affordable health care… and hopefully, for me, a job I love and doesn’t have stupid requirements that interfer with my health.

    • I just stopped and prayed for you. I’m sorry it’s been such a rough year.

      • Kelley says:

        Wow. I saw this message and was going to post… only to find my name from last year.

        He gets SNAP, I’ve gotten several raises. the housing situation is still dicey and work is interfering still with my health. Now I’m very stressed on top of all that. We are also starting to get to the bottom of his health situation, and here’s hoping he can get a disability rating over 70%, then he doesn’t have to work and I can be his caregiver.

  • Patti says:

    Your family is beautiful inside and out. Merry Christmas, Crystal! Thanks for all you do and all you are. Especially love your podcast. Please pray for my son that he finds his way.

  • Shannon says:

    Merry Christmas to your family. Please pray for me. I have been in an emotional abusive relationship for 20 years and I am working on gaining the courage to finally leave.

  • Heather Barnes says:

    This is a beautiful post!

  • Holly J says:

    Hi Crystal, I’ve been following your blog for many many years! Even when I was a blogger, you featured me. I’ve followed for all the deals and steals. You’ve saved me so much over the years. I’ve mostly ignored the religious posts because frankly, I’m not religious. I might say I’m spiritual. Tonight reading your post though, it transcended our differences in opinion. I truly appreciate your kindness for others and your willingness to reach out to the community you’ve built. Your care and genuine thoughtfulness to help others in need is refreshing, especially in today’s world. While I don’t pray, I will hold space for those who have reached out.

    Thank you for all you are and do.

  • claudia roberson says:

    I have been caring for my 71 yr old brother since march . He has demenita and I am alone in his care. I lose him alittle more each day. please pray that i have the strength to get through this. It hurts to watch his decline.

  • Joan says:

    I want to give thanks for a major breakthrough I had today with PTSD. I feel like a new person and the trauma I have experienced for 3.5 years is leaving thanks to help I got with my counselor!

  • Celena says:

    Please pray for a very difficult situation in my family. I am full of hurt and anger. I want to forgive but I am going to need lots of grace!

  • Kionna says:

    Please pray for my family and myself. I am a single mother of 2 daughters and been furloughed since March. Really in need of prayers for some financial stability. Thanks in advance

  • Julie says:

    Thank you for reaching out to your readers. Please pray for reconciliation for a situation in my family. The children are young and are hurting from the anger and retaliation between the divorced parents.

  • Shannon says:

    Merry Christmas to your family. Please pray for me. I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for 20 years and I am working on gaining the courage to finally leave.

  • Leanne says:

    thankful for your example this past year, Crystal!
    Please pray for our family… my father in love was diagnosed with a metastatic brain tumor this week… (he’s fought lung cancer for 3 years)… pray for our strength… and peace to help him and his wife…they are moving here while he gets treatment…
    much love to you!

  • Sara Thompson says:

    I love this post

  • Lea Stormhammer says:

    Blessings to you and your family, Crystal, for thinking of others right now.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  • Need prayer says:

    Merry Christmas Eve. If you could pray for me I would appreciate it. I have been without a job since April. My unemployment runs out 12/26. I have a chronic health condition that effects my lungs and liver and my specialist would like me to have a job I can work at home as that would be best for my health. The concern is that if I get covid I probably will not survive it. I need a job and a home.

  • nan says:

    Lost one brother in law – another is dying with hospice in next week.
    Struggles with both anxiety sad depression in the family in this season of covid – and honestly I feel very exhausted trying to keep everything in balance – with faith – clinging to trusting our Lord – but so weary,

  • lizajane says:

    I just lost my husband and have some hard decisions to make that will affect other family members. I would appreciate prayers to help guide me to make the right decisions, and relieve some of the guilt I feel making those decisions.

  • Rebecca says:

    Please pray for my husband who is in the hospital with post-surgical complications and will miss Christmas away from me and our 4 young kids- including our baby’s first Christmas. He’s in a lot of pain and has been in and out of the hospital for the past six weeks.

  • J says:

    Need prayer. Lost job in April and unemployment ran out today. High risk for Covid so doctors don’t want me working in an office, but at home. All alone.

  • mary says:

    This is really kind of you – thanks for helping your money saving community 🙂 I hope your family had an enjoyable Christmas. God bless you!

  • Lindsay says:

    Such a beautiful post, thank you.

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