Honestly? Like all the Whos in Whoville, my wife and I were pretty depressed when we first started talking about Christmas this year. It seemed Grinch-19 had stolen it right out from under us!
For the first time in her life, our youngest daughter won’t be with us (flying is too risky). And our oldest and her significo are cautiously splitting their limited-exposure time between families. Result? It will just be the two of us on Christmas Day. Plus, the Christmas Eve service at our church will be a 20 minute, socially-distanced, outdoor event (brrrr), with no lighting of each other’s candles.
My wife suggested we skip giving each other gifts this year (we’re still doing donations in each other’s names). Which make sense, actually; after all, we’re buying some pricey work-related items right after Christmas. I don’t really care about getting presents (I was all about it when I was a little Who), but it depressed me to think about having “less Christmas” this year.
So I had a heart-to-heart with the Originator of Christmas, and He said, “Don’t do less Christmas, do a different one.” After all, the opening scene of “the greatest story ever told,” the birth of Jesus, can never be diminished. And Jesus continues to show up at Christmas, and every other day of the year, for those who invite him in. Not only is he immune to coronavirus, he’s the ultimate vaccine for the worst virus of all time: human sin.
So Trudy and I talked about how to have a Christmas that’s different, but not less. And here’s what we came up with:
On Christmas Eve, we’ll bundle up and attend that uniquely refreshing, outdoor mini-Christmas Eve service, sing a few carols, and light our candles from the same flame as others, then wish them a Merry Merry as we head for home. There, we’ll Zoom with our out-of-town loved ones, and together open the gifts we’ve shipped. Finally, our in-town daughter and her significo will join us in a tamale feast from the local tortilleria (a wonderful Mexican Christmas tradition we picked up in SoCal).
Then, on Christmas Day, Trudy and I will open our stockings (the one gift we’re still giving each other) and enjoy. After which, we’ll deliver gifts and food for a local charity to elderly shut-ins. Remember: the whole gift-giving tradition began not with a short, fat guy from the North Pole, but a tall skinny guy from Turkey (St. Nicholas of Myra)–and it was all about giving gifts to the less fortunate.
Finally, after a home-made Christmas supper, we’ll snuggle-up and watch a Christmas movie classic or two. And I’m guessing, like the original Christmas 2,000 years ago, it will be a unique,
Never-to-be repeated event!
Please share your thoughts on How to Have a Merry COVID Christmas below!