After the long and difficult year that we have experienced, the realisation that Christmas is so close (it’s next Friday!!!) comes as a lovely surprise, even though we know it won’t be the same as any year before. Christmas is the time of year when we focus on the things that are most important to us – our family, our friends, our community, and our Christmas spirit – and normally we show that by giving (and receiving) gifts and getting together with friends and family.
But, as anyone who has ever read A Christmas Carol or, even better, watched the Muppet film knows, the Christmas message is more about our behaviour than the physical presents we give and receive. Showing Christmas spirit means being generous, joyful, forgiving, and most importantly, kind. After everything we’ve gone through this year it’s more important than ever that we make this Christmas an example of what the holiday should be about.
We even have a word for it – meitheal – coming together as a community to support each other. So, although this year we won’t have carol singing, or visitors from abroad, or large gatherings with all our friends, we can still call our neighbours and friends and check in on them, to make sure they know we’re thinking of them. We can support local businesses with our gift and food shopping. We can step up and help out, go the extra mile for our neighbours in need. We are restricted by public safety advice of course, but there is still so much we can do to show how much we care about each other.
This year is an opportunity for us. We have the chance to show each other some of that Christmas spirit, and, in doing so, prove to ourselves that Lisacul is more than just a village; we’re a community. In our village, being unable to gather together physically is no barrier at all – after all, looking out for each other isn’t a new thing for us; it’s simply a part of our daily lives.
So yes, this year has been long and difficult for everybody, it feels like life has been turned upside down, and remembering how we celebrated at this time last year is a bit like looking into a parallel universe. But by embracing the Christmas spirit, and our meitheal, we can make sure that 2020 ends on a high note, and look forward to a better year to come.
So, merry Christmas, everyone!