Mixing Covid and Christmas

‘Bah Humbug.’ This phrase comes to mind as I read the never-ending headlines about the omicron variant.  ‘Bah Humbug’ conveys “curmudgeonly displeasure.” It captures a sense of contempt, disgust, and disillusionment. For all things Covid, it feels about right.

I am reassured by health experts who explain that with vaccines, boosters, testing, masks and better treatments, we can continue many activities so long as done with care. And too, this spike means we’re still continually sorting through personal risks and making choices. Like many, I had hoped we were nearer to the end of Covid. So, yes, ‘Bah Humbug.’

Yet Ebenezer Scrooge used the term ‘Bah Humbug’ a bit differently. He was grouching about his specific dislike of Christmas, including its celebrations and festivities. My hope is we’ll resist the temptation to let the pandemic define the season for us. I hope we won’t be Scrooge.

Christmas and the season’s holidays may offer the comfort and joy we need. On the long nights we’re offered unique stillness, an opportunity for quiet reflection. The story of Jesus’s birth helps us imagine the potential in new life and unknown possibilities. The full holiday season, complete with decorations, lights, and food (the festival parts!) can help move us toward generosity and needed connections.

In the midst of what can be bleak times, we need the spirit of the holidays, especially this year. Maybe this year, some parts of the season’s traditions will touch your heart more deeply than others. Maybe this year your holiday traditions will need to be adapted, again. My hope is you’ll seek out what provides you comfort, or joy, or reassurance in the rituals and traditions of the holidays.

The challenges are real, and too, the spirit of the season is real.

Merry Christmas all,

Rev. Sue

December 23, 2021

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