About the Author

Amber C Haines, author of Wild in the Hollow, has 4 sons, a guitar-playing husband, theRunaMuck, and rare friends. She loves the funky, the narrative, and the dirty South. She finds community among the broken and wants to know your story. Amber is curator with her husband Seth Haines of Mother...

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  1. Amber,
    It’s been three years since my dad went to be with Jesus, but each year as we shuffle furniture to make room for the tree in the family room, I move the chair that he usually sat in on Christmas morning. It’s funny, how like church pews, we all had our “assigned” seats to join in the festival of the unwrapping. I miss his dry sense of humor, his famous phrases and the sincere gratitude he showed for gifts that were picked out for him. I miss him…and yes, Christmas can be bittersweet. In it all I am thankful that we’re not there yet, but Jesus is coming…and so I wait.
    Blessings,
    Bev

  2. My grandmother just went HOME to Jesus a few months ago. My heart longs to find words to describe her so that I don’t forget the precious way she touched my life. Words don’t come. I am so thankful for the pictures I have. I am also learning about the tightrope between sorrow and wonder, lament and joy. So blessed by God”s glory in it all.

    • I am so sorry for your loss, Melanie. I think it’s important in this season that we are honest with our laments. It’s the very thing that begs Christ’s second coming.

  3. Oh Amber, you eloquently summed up so much of what I am feeling and thinking this season. Beautiful. Thank you.

  4. With my last, now 6, we also quit calling Santa a lie and it’s helped me find missing parts of my child-self.

    No one’s been lost recently but it’s still a mourning Christmas for me. For what wasn’t, and what could have been, and for what will never be. There are still warm places though, under the honest reality, and I’m making my way to them.

    Thanks for the love and the honesty in this piece Amber!

  5. I was just running my fingers over my grandma’s wooden cranberry garland, reliving memories of her–Christmas ones and everyday ones. As you say so well, the missing can indeed hit hard at Christmastime.

    Grateful for the words you put to the emotions, Amber. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  6. Amber, I loved this. My family and I are just driving hours home after my husband’s grandmother’s funeral, and I have been thinking all the way about this tension you write about so eloquently. It seems the longer we live, the more goodbyes we say, the more I need to believe in his “coming.” Thank you! Merry Christmas!

    In Christ,
    Taylor Arthur

  7. Thank you…for gently taking the words in my head and the sentiments of my heart…and stringing them together so eloquently in this post.

    The “tightrope slung between sorrow and wonder.” A perfect way to describe it.

  8. Zoe is the same – the first of our three to believe in Santa and I have no idea why. But we’re going with it – we’re all a little caught up in the wonder of being three with her. I wouldn’t ruin that for the world.

  9. This post really touched my heart. My family & I travel through this Christmas season without three precious loves – my mom & dad and my husband (dad of our two sons) have all gone home to be with the Lord. Knowing where they are gives us comfort & joy, but our hearts have huge empty spaces that ache for their presence. We walk the tightrope every day without them, but holidays are bittersweet. Thank you for writing such a tender & loving piece.

    • Linda,

      Prayers for you and your boys. May God meet you and give you a huge hug from me. I pray you feel His presence tomorrow and everyday.

      Father,

      Please help Linda and her boys. Give them your peace, grace and mercy. Shower them with a good Christmas with friends and other family! Be with them and comfort them always

      AMEN!

  10. This is exquisite Amber! There is so much wonder found in Christ during this season! May He be near to you and may you hear His still small voice whisper hope, peace and joy to your soul! I love you sister!!!!

  11. Thank you for this post! It warmed my heart and made me more confident again in my dream coming true of living in my Nana’s house someday not too far off… all those memories and how I love them so! How tradition is packed full of those that have gone on before us and those we will someday leave behind ourselves. Sharing things with my own grandson about the things I so enjoyed growing up. The circle of life does go on and it is a wonder to embrace it.

  12. Amber,

    I lost my mother 5 years ago. She made Christmas special. We had French toast for breakfast and then opened the gifts she carefully wrapped.

    This year a good friend is grieving the loss of her mother. Christmas will be hard for her and her step dad. It is made more difficult by her father being in rehab and not doing well.

    So much sadness this time of year. Walking the tightrope of happiness, and sorrow. Waiting for dear Jesus to come again and take us all home!

    Have a blessed Christmas!