As the pandemic drags on…what would you say has been the hardest thing about 2020? For me, hands down, it has been the limited access to my family and my church family, the people I love. The highlight (or lowlight if you will) of this frustrating reality, is the current stay-at-home orders handed down by our state and county leadership saying we should not have extended family holiday meals and celebrations. I get it. It is easier to spread the virus when we are in groups than if we are only with those from our own household. But it is painful to forgo these holiday traditions that have been going on since before we were all born.
What matters though, is NOT whether we are able to maintain the holiday traditions of large family gatherings. For it is the family itself that fills up those traditions. What matters is what those traditions represent. The holidays simply give us the excuse to do something particularly important: to gather the family together. In a way, our extended family represents the footprint of our generation on the world in which we live. We affirm that when we meet, even if it is only once a year.
I know it feels almost trite and cliché, but I would rather wait a year to gather the family to celebrate great holiday traditions than gather them for a COVID funeral in January of 2021. So, if we need to downsize or even skip gathering for the holidays this year, then it seems to me a reasonable trade off.
So give better gifts this year. Talk on the phone more with your loved ones. Use your ZOOM or FaceTime or Skype, anything that facilitates more communication with your family, the people you love. And if you feel like your craving for the sentimental is just too much to bear, then watch a syrupy Christmas movie, have a good cry, and tell somebody you love them! From my family to yours, wishing you a very merry Christmas!!!
In Christ our living hope,