For about three-quarters of 2020, safety considerations surrounding COVID-19 have made it difficult for most of us to properly and fully observe traditional events, including holidays.
Birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Halloween and the celebration of Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Veterans Day — the list goes on and on — have been canceled, postponed or greatly altered this year due to decisions aimed at helping to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and keep people as safe as possible during this pandemic.
The statistics of human pain, suffering and loss have been overwhelming and so very mortifying.
As of midday Tuesday, Johns Hopkins University reported that, worldwide, there have been more than 63.5 million cases of COVID-19 resulting in nearly 1.5 million deaths. That same batch of statistics showed the United States was leading all nations in infections, at 13.6 million, and deaths — almost 270,000.
We long ago grew weary of the steady daily roll call of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, yet there has been no escaping the realities of it all.
Somehow, however, seeing Christmas decorations going up in Tallahatchie County and elsewhere reminds us that there is light, hope, new birth, salvation.
The angels that adorn many utility poles and other fixtures in Charleston shout out that booming admonition from Bethlehem: “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.”
The Nativity scene on the courthouse grounds in Charleston recalls the magic of that one very special night so long ago.
Tinsel, colorfully decorated Christmas trees, candy canes, wreaths with red bows, sparkling lights, Santa Claus and reindeer — all of it — bring forth childhood emotions of wonder, merriment and magic to help brighten the landscape during these otherwise dreary times.
Sounds of the season — whether secular or religious, and no matter the genre — also help to lift the spirits of so many who are weary, sick, sad.
A literary mind once said, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”
Christmas, a season of light, is just three weeks away. Everyone is encouraged to flip the switch.