When Christmas is Hard

By   •   November 19, 2010

In the middle of the “most wonderful time of the year,” many of you are facing a dilemma or difficulty. You may have a strained relationship with one or multiple family members. Perhaps you’re lonely or grieving a loss and the holidays are particularly painful for you. Or, this is the busiest time of the year and you dread the rat race that often accompanies this season.

Whatever the case may be, we want to provide you with resources to help guide you through this season’s difficulties in a biblical way. Below, you will find some family- and holiday-related questions people have asked Billy Graham over the years, along with his answers.

Help the Lonely
This Christmas was very hard for me. Most of my relatives are gone now (including my husband), and the few I do have are either too old or live too far away, so I was completely alone. Please tell people to reach out to lonely people during holidays, because it’s hard for them.
Be a friend »

Can’t Afford Gifts
My husband lost his job recently and we really can’t afford to give people as much for Christmas this year as we have in the past. But I’m afraid we’ll offend them if we cut back too much. I know this isn’t a spiritual question, but how should we handle this?
Don’t go into debt »

Hectic Holidays
I know Christmas is still some weeks away, but I’m already getting uptight about it. It’s always such a hectic time and we always end up spending far more than we planned to. To be honest, I don’t really enjoy Christmas any more, although I know I ought to. Any suggestions?
Make Christmas meaningful »

Wayward Children
Our son will be coming home from college for the Christmas holidays, and the last time he was here he let it be known that he didn’t believe in God like he used to. We ended up in a big argument because we couldn’t answer his questions, but we don’t want that to happen again.
Show the love of Christ »

Influence Neighbors for Christ
Our neighbors really get into Christmas in a big way—lots of decorating, parties, expensive gifts and so forth. But to them it’s just a time to have family fun, with no religious meaning. How can we get them thinking about the real meaning of Christmas?
Pray for them »

Teach Children the Real Meaning of Christmas
Our two children are getting very excited about Christmas right now (which is understandable, of course). But how can we help them also see the real meaning of Christmas, without sounding like we’re against all the things that excite them about the holidays?
Start today »

Overcome Family Disagreements
Many years ago, my sister and I had a sharp disagreement about something and haven’t talked to each other since. But recently I realized this wasn’t the way God wanted me to act, and since then I’ve tried to reach out to her (without success). My Christmas card to her even came back unopened and refused. Should I just give up?
Hope for change »

Holiday Time Demands From Family
Christmas is still months away but I’m already dreading it. The problem is that we never get to have our own Christmas as a family, because our relatives insist we spend the entire time with them. I’m exhausted by the time we get through with all the travel and emotional tensions. I don’t see any way to break this cycle, but maybe you have some ideas.
Plan carefully »

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  1. Michelle says:

    I have read the heartaches in the earlier posts and a verse comes to mind for all of us to remember during these tough times..”Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 God never leaves us, nor forsakes us. Please keep strong in your faith. He loves us.

  2. Linda says:

    Holidays bring both joy and sadness for me so I feel the sadness and choose to embrace joy… I feel sad my titi passed away but I remember her smilely face and how much she showed me about being a mom ! Love her forever 😀

  3. Linda says:

    I have two grown daughters that i raised alone, with 4 grandchildren. They are both living horrible destructive lives, neglectful of their children and are estranged from me and extremely disrespectiful. I appreciate your prayers.

  4. Leah Ann says:

    Thank you Mr. Graham for being faith filled all these years. You have been a good and faithful servant. I hope at the end of my life I can be thought of the same by others. Well done!!

  5. GOLDIA says:


  6. Caroline says:

    My prayers are with you Bonnie….. He see's and knows what you are going through. I remember going through the same thing and I must say, God is a God who is always right on time….not a minute before, nor a minute too late. Bonnie if you can just invision his arms around you and he is there…..I was to a point that I no longer had a prayer left in me. All I could do was raise my hands to heaven in the night and say “I LOVE YOU, JESUS!” That is all I had left and you know he was there for me. I told my husband I'm done…not fighting this fight anymore, not worrying about what I CAN'T CHANGE and now it belongs to the God who holds the stars in the universe. A long as we have the Lord in our lives and each other, along with health…we can always start over if we have to. And I have to say, I didn't just say those words, I meant them and the Lord heard my cry and delivered us in our moment of need. I will be holding you and your family up to the throne of God. God Bless and know there are people storming heaven on your behalf. Much love in Christ.

  7. Londa says:

    16yrs ago I lost my grandmother who was more like my mom two weeks before Thanksgiving.Then I lost my best friend 7 yrs ago that left me in a coma for x-mas! The Holidays are definitely a struggle for me and I have really never been able to cope with these tremendous losses in my life I deal with them internally and stay with a smile on my face for my four children but the Holidays are definitely not something that I look forward to every year…

  8. Bridgette says:

    I am usually the peacemaker in my family. For years I have gone out of my way to try to hold together my sisters, mom and grandparents. I (and my children) have been so severely, repeatedly, and intentionally damaged (emotionally and physically) that I no longer have any desire to be a peacekeeper. All of my efforts are rewarded with punishments. It is not physically safe for me to take my children around some of them, and not emotionally sound around the others. I don't want to be bitter, and it would be great to be able to have a relationship with them, but, obviously, must protect my children and myself. Please pray that their hearts (and actions) can change and that when they do, mine will be able to accept that it has happened.

  9. Pamela says:

    Thank you for sharing your words of encouragement with a hurting world. Having recently survived a major illness and separation from my children, one fundamental truth provides strength: 'Though the days are weary and the long nights dreary, I know my Savior cares'.

  10. Joyce says:

    My second son has been in prison for the past 3 Holiday seasons and it's very hard to enjoy them. My oldest son is not responsible yet and has 2 children of his own. My daughter has a gender identity disorder, and we're constantly Praying about it, and all my inlaws and parents have passed on. It's lonely, however, I believe the Lord will restore the years that the locusts have eaten. I purpose to rejoice in God's faithfulness no matter what's on my plate. His promises are true. My God is GREAT!!