Christmas is an Inside Job
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is the perfect pandemic song for 2020. Emphasis on “little”. The original song by Judy Garland says…
“Someday soon we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow
So have yourself a merry little Christmas now.”
Muddling through is what we are all doing right now as our country is in a hard battle with COVID-19. Life is different for sure and for many people, “2020 sucks” has become their theme song for the year.
muddle through Christmas. Not happening. It is too special, too sacred, too important. I refuse to let 2020 take Christmas away. Dammit. It has already taken freedoms, vacations, jobs, milestones, and sadly too many lives.
Here is a little secret: Christmas is an inside job. How you feel inside is so much more important than anything that is happening on the outside.
Christmas is more than office parties and ornament exchanges. It is more than ugly sweaters and peppermint lattes. It is more than shopping and wrapping. It is more than gift cards and “perfect” presents.
Christmas is about births and beginnings. Christmas is about renewed faith. Christmas is about memories – reflection of old ones and making new ones. It is about moments that make us smile, cry, laugh and connect to those we love. It is about being kind to one another and softening our hearts. It is about reminders of why we are blessed and about hope for what is come.
2020 has brought a new tenderness for the past. “Normal” is off the table, for right now. We have been given a chance to reflect on all we took for granted before our world shut down. We miss hugging dear friends when we see them, simple handshakes hello, and embracing our aging parents who seem frailer as these days apart continue. We miss seeing more than just people’s eyes behind masks- we miss warm smiles that cost nothing to give but have the strength to change someone’s day. We miss gathering, being together, and celebrating important moments together. We reflect with tenderness on all we took for granted and remind ourselves we will appreciate each other so much more when we emerge from this darkness.
Christmas is also courage in the present, the bravery we are having to dig deep to find right now. Courage to face change, to adjust our lives, to accept that which we cannot control, to do what is right, and to be out of our comfort zones. The more we can face our fears, the more we will replace fear-based responses with courageous ones. The truth is, being courageous is hard work. And we know that hard work is essential, but courage will take us places.
2020 has been the year of waiting, bracing, and praying for what lies ahead. It has been a year of winces and a year of small triumphs. It has been a year of unknowns and uncertainties. It has been a year for struggles and a year for resilience. But most importantly, it is a year we need hope. The only way to face obstacles and stressors is to have hope. Hope is not a luxury, it is a necessity. It pulls us through and keeps us going. Hope is a lifeline, oxygen to all our fears and worries and it is what pulls us out of bed every day. As we look to the birth of 2021, we will put the labor pains of 2020 aside and embrace, nurture, and find hope in the days to come.
Whether you celebrate the Christmas season or not, there is no doubt the spirit of the holiday is bigger than its commercial trappings or social media images. It is not about what’s under your tree or in your wallet, Christmas lies around your faith and within your heart. Regardless of what is happening in the world, let Christmas bring you peace, forgiveness, gratitude, and love.
The true gifts will not come from wrapped presents but rather the tenderness, courage, and hope you give and receive.