Christmas: Despite challenges, we still celebrate

“Joyful and triumphant” may feel a little more like “content and surviving” for many Mid-Ohio Valley residents on this Christmas Day, but given the year we as a valley, and nation, have experienced, that is enough.

Together we have, for nearly nine months, learned how to be a community in an entirely new way. Heroes have emerged as ordinary folks became the front line in our battle against a deadly virus; as parents and teachers partnered to find a new way to teach our kids; as small businesses were shored up by the support of those who found a different way to dine and shop; and organizations went from plan B to plans F, G, H and beyond as they adapted to changes that seemed never-ending.

Today, many find a new way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year. Perhaps it is video calls and shipped gifts this time; family bakers talking their relatives through making the perfect pie in their own kitchens; families making their much smaller gatherings special. Santa may have needed a little help this year, but many are smiling this morning knowing they were able to answer that call, too.

Today there are also families grieving. There are empty spots at tables; calls that will not be made. May they feel some comfort, some joy, in this season.

Through it all, the lights are burning brightly — more so than in years past, in fact. Carols are being sung. Candies, cookies and cakes will still inspire New Year’s resolutions. Through it all we know we still have so very much to celebrate as we remember the birth of a Baby who taught us how to love one another.

We have found so many new ways to do that, too, this year — love one another. May that spirit and the hope this day brings carry us through another year.

And may we, all, have a merry Christmas!


“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.”

— Scottish poet Alexander Smith


“God never gives someone a gift they are not capable of receiving. If he gives us the gift of Christmas, it is because we all have the ability to understand and receive it.”

— Pope Francis


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