Origin: late Middle English
First recorded use: 15th century, ca. 1475
Origins: yule – ‘the Christmas season’ &
tid or tide – ‘a point or period of time’ (macmillan)

photo credit: osman rana

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

(So this is Christmas)

Christmas shopping and door-to-door carol singing…
Mulled wine and Christmas cookies, shared together with family and friends…
Office Christmas parties and the infamous singing (not to mention all the other things that tend to happen on these occasions ;-))
Impromptu Christmas gatherings, quick trips, surprise visits –
All that Christmas joy

Not this year.
Not to the same extent.

Depending on where you live and how your community is tackling the current global health crisis, it’s been a very strange holiday season. One full with packages arriving non-stop (many thanks to all the postal service workers who are doing an amazing job) and yet, there’s little meeting with friends and caroling with strangers. There’s none of that collective Christmas bustle, in some cases because the entire country shut down to keep health infrastructures from collapsing.

How say “Merry Christmas!” in such a time, after such a year? What, many will ask, is there to be merry about? 2020 has been a terrible year for many people, harrowing in its heartbreak, shocking in the callousness on display. Hard to sing Joy to the World after that, isn’t it?

Or is it?

photo credit: rodion kutsaev

One thing that has been popping up more and more in conversations, posts and feeds is the G-word: Gratitude. What people – humans, not numbers on a data sheet – are grateful for; what they have come to appreciate, sometimes despite 2020, sometimes because of 2020.

This Christmas season seems to be one where gratitude has come into sharper focus. And maybe that’s the only way to wrap up this year, by looking at what really matters, appreciating what we have – or simply learning to appreciate what, and especially who, is already in our lives.

2020 has been a year of loneliness and upheaval, chaos and solitude. A year of colossal uncertainties contrasted with merciless certainty. A year so strange it seems to be its own disturbing era.

Even so, ’tis the Season and for everyone who celebrates it in whatever way possible:

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.

photo credit. tijana drndarski

Oh, and of course:

Don’t give up,
Keep on writing.

~ VR

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