It’s the traditional greeting on December 25, and for a short period of time before. It became popularized in Victorian times, through stories (including the most famous one, a tale of Christian Redemption) and songs.
We reserve the use of the word ‘Merry’ in modern life, always teaming it with the holiday. No other holiday has that term attached. And, for many of us – myself included – substituting other festive words just doesn’t seem correct.
So, Merry Christmas!
How are we to carry out that exhortation, in these troubled times?
The same way Christians always do:
- In peace and war
- In hard times, and in prosperity
- In personal difficulties, and when life is good and calm
- Whether single, married, or some other circumstances
- Whether near family and friends, or far from those who might care about you
- Whether sick, or healthy, at peace or disturbed in mind, emotion, or soul
- Whether imprisoned or free
We rejoice in the annual celebration of the Birth of Our Savior.
It isn’t easy, some years. Life circumstances can make it a depressing interlude, surrounded by cheerful people, yet, yourself, depressed and heartsick. If you are caring for an ill person, separated by political or religious differences, or worried about the health – body or soul – of a loved one, this is not much of a time for joy.
And, yet, this is, paradoxically, a time when we need to LOOK for reasons to be celebratory. To focus on what is GOOD about our lives, rather than what is going wrong. We need to take comfort in the small things – a roof over our head, some daily bread, and bodily covering, however unfashionable and old. That, in part, is one point of the story – if the Holy Family could be at peace, even in their reduced circumstances, who are we to complain?
As Fran pointed out in a recent post, there are some signs that the political situation, and the fortunes of Dissidents, may be changing. The Bidens and their supporters have reason for an uneasy repose at night. They seem to be slipping in most people’s estimation. Their policies, and their objectives, have pushed many into questioning them, and their party, as well. The wave of announced retirements in Congress may be a sign of their resignation to reality.
Will they spend us into the ground? With the help of a few stalwart souls – Thank you, Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema – it appears that the mad rush to bankrupt us may be over (at least for now), and we may have some breathing room.
The Dreaded Illness of the Decade appears not to be killing as many as predicted – for many, it’s a nasty, and survivable, infection. The Supreme Court has several challenges to draconian mandates, and MIGHT – only MIGHT – rule on them (hopefully in favor of striking them down).
The real surprise – and reason for hope – is that so many of us DIDN’T collapse into bankruptcy. Most people, when the crisis hit, used any spare cash, including the ‘Covid Money’ to pay down bills, invest in storable food and other needed supplies, and tighten their budgets. Sure, there were those who fecklessly spent that cash, while using Covid as an excuse to skip out on their rent and have a good time. But they were few.
So, altogether, I’m content, for now.
Have a Merry Christmas!