Christmas a sign of hope despite dreary times

>> Saturday, December 26, 2020


There are as many traditions for Christmas as there are those who observe it, but a common thread is time spent with loved ones, the sights and smells that evoke Christmases past and the warmth and hope that comes from random acts of goodwill.
    This holiday is supposed to be a welcome break for a year ending with so much political and economic uncertainty even as people have grown weary of the situation compounded by needless killings.
    But Christmas is a reminder, too, of the enduring power that Christmas has in bringing out the best in the human spirit.
    The dire economic situation compounded by imposed regulations has taken its toll on families, and numbed many this season to the everyday joys that Christmas brings.
    There is an ache in our nation's conversation that hasn't gone away, and millions are unprepared to make the day merry. But Christmas is a moment to reset the clock, if temporarily. It is a time to appreciate the richness of life and those here and who have gone who contributed to it. The new year and its challenges will come soon enough.
    Somewhere there is a child in need of clothing, a senior who needs a helping hand and a loved one who wants the simple gift of time. The familiar backdrops all need tending to.
    This is supposed to be a time for reacquainting with family and friends, faith and treasured traditions. But then, with the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, people are advised to limit contact with others. Christmas will be gone before you know it, and there's no pleasure today like adding to the memories.
    If anything, this Christmas comes as perfect moment for self-reflection, as the nation faces a new uncertain year even with the promise of anti-Covid-19 vaccines.
    It's a great launching point to be reminded that the human spirit is an expansive thing. Today is a moment to take a break, to revel in the company at home and to rekindle the feeling of those earlier Christmas celebrations.
    That might seem hard to do this season. But there is a comfort and a rhythm to this holiday that defines this time of year. The best of us is brought out in the spirit of giving, in the hope we see and in the goodwill we show our fellow man.
    This is an enduring holiday because the joy and optimism, despite the hardship and uncertainty it brings, is something to hold, share and help pass down to the next generation.
    Merry Christmas.


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