Two kinds of Christmas, two kinds of services

Christmas, and the holiday season in general, mean different things to different people.

For some, the simple joy of the Christmas story and its message of universal hope comprise the true message of the holiday. That’s particularly true, for some, when the Nativity is portrayed with the pure enthusiasm of children.

Christmas, however, is not so joyous for others. The sense of celebration shared by so many at this time of year tends to make those who have suffered a loss, whether personal or professional, or those feeling lonely and isolated for any number of reasons, feel more intensely their grief and sadness.

In Fairfield this weekend, two different religious communities will sponsor events that draw their themes from these diametrically different “two Christmases.”

On Saturday, Dec. 15, St. Pius X School will stage a Nativity play at 6:30 p.m. in the school, 834 Brookside Road. Characters will include angels, shepherds, soldiers and other figures from story of Jesus’ birth. The event will include carol singing and Christmas desserts.

Call Debra Gailhard at 203-557-0148 for tickets to the St. Pius play. They may also be bought at the door depending on availability of seats.

On Sunday, Dec. 16, a program called, “A Blue Christmas: Managing the Holidays,” will take place at 4 p.m. in St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 4670 Congress St. It is sponsored by Anama Cara, Christian Center for Spiritual Life.

The service is designed to help those grieving, lonely, struggling with addiction or otherwise hurting, and gives them a chance to share a sense of community with others who may feel the same during the holidays.

Folk-rock singer Elaine Romanelli will perform during the service. Celebrant will be the Rev. Malinda Johnson, the center’s associate director.

John Schwing