It’s the most wonderful time of the year with kids jingle belling and everyone telling you be of good cheer – it’s the most wonderful time of the year!
In looking at the lyrics of this classic, as it talks about parties, friends visiting, loved ones being near, and people making out under the mistletoe, I realized something – this is perhaps the most ironic Christmas song of 2020. It highlights all the wonderful Christmas traditions that many of us are not engaging in due to the global pandemic. So let me start by begging someone to please bring on the parodies…
In addition to the irony, this song brings up an even more important point: this is not the most wonderful time of the year for a lot of people. For many of us, this is one of the most difficult times of the year. For everyone who is missing a loved one, experiencing a new divorce, or facing economic hardship (just to name a few of the difficult things happening to our neighbors), this time is not really that cheerful. We need to be mindful of what we say and do as we are celebrating.
And yet, there is one line in this song that does offer some hope: tales of the glories of Christmases long, long ago.
What if, instead of focusing on all the traditions we are having to give up this year, we instead refocus our energies on how we can set hearts aglow in creative and different ways. Perhaps we help teach our older neighbors or relatives to FaceTime or Zoom so they can see their families. Or spend extra time on our Christmas cards so that no one feels left out. Or take a few minutes every day to reach out to old friends we haven’t seen in a while to let them know we care. Or purchase biodegradable floating lanterns and give them to your friends who have lost loved ones to remember them on Christmas or New Year’s. Even better, we can get ahold of our local charitable organizations, find out what they need, and do what we can to help fill them.
There are still myriads of ways we can create our own tales of Christmas glory this year. We just have to work for it, just as everyone did in those old stories we love to sit around the bonfires and tell.
So, there are still twenty-six days until Christmas. Let’s get to work, because there is still much wonder we can all create!