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.