Getting into the Christmas Spirit in 2020

With all the horror that 2020 has provided I thought it would be extremely difficult to enjoy my annual ritual of watching my favorite holiday movies.  Just to start it off correctly I watched both the 1951 and 1984 movie versions of “A Christmas Carol.”  Surprisingly, I enjoyed them even more than I did last year under much less trying circumstances.  The scenes with Scrooge after his repentance are exactly what I needed to start enjoying the holidays the way I like to.  Surrounded by the squalor of the election fraud and the forced isolation of the COVID overreaction I needed to see scenes of joy and heartfelt emotion to wake my spirit up to the feelings of the season.

Wherever we are, even those of us locked down in this sad sham of an epidemic, we have many friends and loved ones that we can reach by phone or e-mail or by sending a little gift with a card.  Doing that will relieve some of the isolation and it will do a great deal of good for both the recipient and you.

And even if you are completely alone, maybe you can make a special meal for yourself and read a good book or watch a pleasant movie and reminisce about better times and look forward to better times to come.  Life ebbs and flows.  There are bound to be highs and lows.  This is a low point.  It will improve.  But letting Christmas pass without acknowledging it would make it even worse.  And I’m definitely not saying people should spend a lot of money or go through elaborate preparations for a party that no one will be attending.  Far from it.  One of few advantages that the present situation provides us is extra time for reflection.

We all rush through life without considering if we’re missing the bigger point.  Children grow quickly and people age without us realizing it.  We drift in and out of the lives of friends and then we’re left standing at a funeral wondering what happened to the time.  There’s definitely room for re-ordering priorities and reaching out to those we’ve lost track of.

When the world is going to hell in a handbasket is probably the best time to get your own life into better shape.  And the natural time to do that is at the end of the year.  Christmas and New Year are the perfect time to reflect and not just on the negatives.  Even those of us going through extremely hard times can take some solace from memories of the better times.  Those good things were real and we did enjoy them.  Remembering that joy can get you through some tough days.  Reliving it with someone who was also there makes it even better.

I come from a large family that truly relishes dark humor.  We reminisce about the most awful circumstances that we lived through together.  But this year I’ll look to remind them of some of the happier things that came with growing up in a large family.  If nothing else we can celebrate that we’ve beaten the odds and are all still alive and relatively healthy.  And we’ve got kids and grandkids too.  None of us is starving and there isn’t even a really strong feud going on in the sibling group which is pretty remarkable for us.  We won’t be getting together for Christmas which will break a decades long tradition.  But we can have a video conference and we can exchange presents and greetings.  That will help.

So, this is long enough.  My advice to everyone out there is don’t let the bastards get you down.  Make an effort to revive your Christmas spirit and I’ll bet it will be well worth your effort.

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