I find that I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around Christmas this year. Though I’ve had bursts of holiday spirit, Covid has colored everything with a heavy blanket of worry, isolation, and profound loss. Our home is decorated, music is playing; all of the trappings are here, but there is a hollowness, a disconnect. How could there not be?
I have always loved the magic that is Christmas, stubbornly clinging to the traditions that my mother ingrained in me, no matter what was going on in my life. Some holidays gave me some of the happiest memories. A very small handful were times of great heartache and loss that left deep scars on my heart.
There is such a need for so many of us to make every single holiday a Currier and Ives experience, but that’s just not life- no matter how much we might wish otherwise. And maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing. It takes experiencing those tarnished holidays to make us truly appreciate the good that we are fortunate enough to have had.
I remember my childhood and the magical scene that my mother somehow created out of nothing each year, even the smallest of details still so clear after all these years. Even in a sad and difficult times like this year, remembering the youthful exuberant joy of past Christmas mornings brings the spirit of the holiday to me and makes me remember the why.
We all need the magic of Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanza or whatever you choose to celebrate), especially now in these dark times. We need the joy to bolster our spirits, the memories of childhood to keep us young at heart, the time to focus on others instead of ourselves, the communion with family and friends- even at a distance- to keep love and hope in our hearts.
Yes, this Christmas will be different, perhaps darker than Christmases past, but that’s okay. We can draw strength from memories and look to the future with hope for a new year that will, God willing, bring relief and better days for us all. Christmas magic is pretty potent stuff, after all.