Holiday brings bright hope for tomorrow
The holidays are my very favorite time of year. From the moment I wake up Thanksgiving morning and start preparing that afternoon’s feast, to the stroke of midnight on Dec 31 when we welcome a new year, the entire season is filled with excitement, tradition and fun.
Like everything else in 2020, this year’s holiday season has been different than any other I have ever experienced. With two young children in the house, Christmas can’t help but still be magical, but with the pandemic, many of the things I always look most forward to are different this year. With Christmas parties being made virtual, trips to visit family postponed and Christmas performances canceled, it can feel like we are living through a real-life version of the Dr. Seuss classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
While it may seem like this Christmas season has been filled with unprecedented fear and sadness, the truth is as a nation we have experienced difficult Christmases before. In fact, some of our most beloved Christmas songs were written as a way to express the sadness many were feeling at that time. “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” were both written about the pain and struggles of World War II. Stevie Wonder’s “Someday at Christmas” and John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” were written in response to the societal turmoil and injustice of the late ’60s, and “Do They Know it’s Christmas?” brought worldwide attention to those suffering from famine at Christmastime in 1984.
What makes all of these songs powerful is the message they all express is not one of sadness, but of hope. And that would be my message to all of you in my final article of 2020. At its essence, hope is what Christmas has always been about. From the beginning, when the very hope of this world, Christ Jesus, was born in a lowly manger, the story of Christmas has always been a story of hope.
While it’s only natural to feel disappointment that this Christmas may not be everything you hoped for, never allow that disappointment to turn into despair. Instead, abide in the hope that soon things will be better. The world will return to the way it was, and once again the joy and peace that we look to this day to provide will return in all their glory.
I will wrap my article with a poem sent to me by a client of Stewardship Capital. Not unlike the lyrics of some of the songs mentioned earlier, these words help capture both the disappointment and the hope of Christmas in 2020:
Tis the season of Christmas and all through our town
The folks at John Knox are all under lockdown
The Covid Pandemic is on everyone’s mind
We pray that our fears will be soon left behind.
With shopping online and delivery by van,
We choose to buy presents the best way we can.
Our “virtual families” can visit on Zoom,
But we look to the day we can share the same room.
With healthier, happier futures in sight,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
Luke Davis is the director of operations and compliance at Stewardship Capital in Independence.