As children and young adults, our Christmas lists are long and full of meaningless “things” that we believe will enrich our lives. Approaching middle and later years of age, our lists become shorter and hold much more value along with things that cannot be bought in a store.
From my personal experience, I have found my middle-aged list to be much more satisfying and one that bolsters contentment rather than throwing me into the rat race and leaving me empty and angry. Wisdom comes with age and a shorter list.
It has been a rough year by anyone’s definition. Stress has been high, satisfaction has been low, and no one is really getting anything they dreamed when this new year of perfect vision, 2020, entered our lives nearly 365 days ago.
As I talk to others and watch the news interviews with regular people, it seems everyone has become a hugger. When we can’t give a hug, it becomes what we want most in life. We were created to need closeness with other humans, and Covid has robbed us of that closeness we so desire. It pains me to think of those who passed away without the comfort of their loved ones at their bedside because of restrictions.
In a year of much sadness, it has been my observation that more people opted to decorate for Christmas early to bring some much-needed cheer to our lives. We have been enjoying our merry decor and holiday flavors for a few extra weeks as our hearts long for our families, friends, and celebrations.
I admire NBC for airing the Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular for the country to watch together, separately in our homes. It was a beautiful show, but what caught my eye more than anything was the hosts telling of their family tradition of attending a LIVE performance of the Rockettes in New York.
The ladies are resting their legs as there will be no performances this pandemic year. It is an opportunity to make new traditions and find joy in different ways than in the past. Some new traditions will stick and others will be tossed aside to bring back old habits and gatherings in 2021.
In some small way, it is comforting to know that we are all in this together - that our frustrations are similar, our disappointments are congruent, and that when it all shakes down, we must all find joy in whatever way we can muster as we end this year and look forward to a new one.
2021 will come whether we are ready or not and we pray that it will bring a better set of circumstances than we found buried deep within the hope of the year 2020. Hope is a strong mindset and has remained alive throughout this past year. The human spirit will triumph and we will move into a new year with fresh hope, fresh joy, fresh resilience, and fresh light that we may shine upon our fellow man.
Jennifer Anglin is a local author, www.thejenniferanglin.com