Christmas Sadness: How to Manage It

Sadness at Christmas is more common than many realize. Your life is filled with difficulties, hurts, losses, and disappointments. At Christmas, these things sometimes feel bigger.

What do you do when you have done your very best and it still wasn’t good enough? What is your next move after pouring into some endeavor and it didn’t seem to make a difference? How about the person who has lived healthy, food and exercise, all their life – and they get the news of cancer? You might have befriended someone who turns around and betrays you. What do you do when you prayed and trusted – and the bad thing still happened? How do you go on when death invades?

Christmas is supposed to be a wonderful time of rejoicing, celebration, and encouragement. It’s the time to pause, reflect, and enjoy God’s lavish gifts of grace while you live in this broken world! But keep it real. This life is broken!

So, what do you do when things don’t go well – when you are sad at Christmas?

You draw near to the grown-up Christmas Baby. Open your heart to this child – your most precious gift. How does this change things in your life at Christmas?

For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Most people have heard this passage at Christmas. For many believers, it sums up the reason for the season. For others, it prepares their heart to refocus on God’s perspective. Some people just like hearing the tender words. Others repeat the words like a rote dinner prayer. Even people who do not trust Jesus have studied these verses in a school of theology, or rehearsed them in a school of music or other art.


I remember when I was one of those rote memory participants in this verse. As time passed, I became a “reason for the season” participant. The more I studied God’s Word through each year, this Scripture began to pierce my heart. In recent decades, I have meditated on the intensely practical meaning of the words. This verse continues to change my life, especially when things have not gone well. It holds comfort, promise, instruction, connection, and deep encouragement.

Making Scripture Real

Dissecting Scripture helps you get the meaning of the passage so you can apply it practically to your real-time life scenarios. Will you look with me to see how these verses help handle Christmas sadness?

For to us a child is born,
to us a Son is given,

This child is uniquely gifted to you! Clearly the birth involves a “family member.” A Son of humanity. A gift given for the forgiveness of sins and to receive eternal life. A companion in life’s hardships and pain. A powerful and kind friend who cares about you. Emmanuel means “God With Us.” Humanity just got better.

and the government will be on His shoulders.

The grown-up Christmas Baby carries God’s government on His shoulders. He is extremely intelligent with answers to complicated problems. Christ’s shoulders are broad and strong to carry everything that concerns you. Jesus has kind and brilliant solutions. He loves you, cares about your difficulties, and gives hope.

And He will be called

God names Himself for your needs. His names fit your needs like a glove.

Wonderful Counselor

Jesus is extremely wise and creative. Some Bible translations call Him “Extraordinary Strategist” in place of Wonderful Counselor. Imagine having this kind of guide in struggles, griefs, and disappointments. He is already in tomorrow to receive you as you enter.

Mighty God

God channels His unlimited power through the portal of your faith. Every problem, loss, sorrow, challenge, and assignment falls within His scope of power. “With man, these things are impossible. But with [Mighty] God, all things are possible.” (Mt. 19:26)

Everlasting Father

You belong! You have a fabulous Dad who loves you tenderly. He holds you when you are discouraged, strengthens you when you are weak, steps in with His glorious right arm when you need help with a bully. He increases your tensile strength even as you are sure you will perish. Your Father is extremely good. So good, Job said, “Even if You kill me, I will trust you, God.” (Job 13:15)

Prince of Peace

This world is full of conflict. The churning, burning, unsettling reality. Jesus promises peace that passes understanding. If you’ve been hurt, feel sadness, are crushed or broken – Jesus administers comfort and rest as He spreads His wings over you. Come under His wings. “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Ps. 34:18)


Remember: this broken world is not God’s fault. It’s a people problem. And God steps in to help us in an eternally dynamic way – by becoming a baby.

By faith, come close to the grown-up Christmas Baby. He loves you! Bring your sadness to Him at Christmas. Rest on His great shoulders. Be real, yet receive His comfort. He gives stability in your sadness even during celebrations. Apply His custom-designed names by faith to your every need. Be open to the wisdom and comfort of Wonderful Counselor. Surrender your care and heart to Mighty God. Rest and fellowship with Everlasting Father. Be completely dependent on Prince of Peace.

Open your heart to receive from the grown-up Christmas Baby, even in your sadness. And – explore Scripture for many more hand-in-glove names of God this New Year.

Merry Christmas in your real-life. God loves you so much!



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