Thursday, December 24, 2020

We Need A Little Christmas

I was looking through my old Christmas-related posts on this blog, since 'tis the season for self reflection. I noticed that in the past I had written a lot about the awful consumerist ethos of the season and how it should be counter-balanced with other Christmas values of generosity, kindness, and a sense of responsibility for others. This year the consumerist orgy of Christmas has been bugging me less. This is partially because my headspace has more immediate concerns, but also because Christmas in quarantine seems to have dampened the usual ostentation. 

Growing up Christmas was a magical time, and not only because of the presents. Back then I was a very devout Catholic, and at midnight Mass I would get a jolt of reassuring feeling in my spine that things would be okay. That's the ultimate message of the holiday, after all. Even those of us who have drifted from the faith still have that feeling in our hearts. We live in a broken, corrupted world, but the hand of grace can somehow offer the hope of redemption.

While I have not recovered the faith (and doubt I ever will), I haven't lost the feeling of hope. This year I we need it more than ever. Thousands die of disease every day while one political faction has openly flouted the rules against mitigation. The president is undermining democracy and pardoning his criminal associates who helped cover up his crimes. The police continue to murder unarmed Black people with impunity. People are losing jobs and businesses and aid is not coming. 

I also try to remember that there are rays of hope. Trump lost by seven million votes. Republicans can still lose the Senate. People are starting to get vaccinated. Perhaps all is not lost. That's the one thought that is sustaining me this Christmas. It's a time of year when I might be able to believe that things can actually get better.

No comments: