Christmas is going to be different this year.
How many times have we heard that sentence uttered over the past few weeks? More than any of us care to remember, no doubt. It was kind of assumed by most for many months that there was a good chance, though not a jolly one, that the festive period may not be quite so festive this time around. And thus, rather grumbly, we were right.
What can we say about 2020 that has not already been said? What adjectives are left that have not already been used many times before?
Perhaps, as we edge toward the end of this gargantuanly torrid year, focus should not dwell too heavily on the undoubted pain and difficulties that have plagued us all. Instead, and in the sincere spirit of the season, we should take a moment to shift our attention to the courage, the character, the imagination and the good that we all found in one another and in ourselves.
We stood up and protected one another. We waved through windows. We skyped and zoomed and understood what they meant. We texted and called and hollered across an empty street “Hey there! How’s it going? Are you alright?” We caught up when we were down. Found new friends, old friends and best friends. We clapped and clanged and whistled on the tip of our front doors to remind those still hard at work “Don’t worry! We are with you!”. We raised money and did what we could. We found inspiration and kept on moving. We took up exercising. We marvelled in our science and our gift for creation. We watched and re-watched Game Of Thrones (well, most of it). We learnt to cook and survived that too. We loved and we missed and we blew virtual kisses. And we are, because of all that and more, still here.
Christmas is going to be different this year. But that doesn’t mean that there is no Christmas.
Good food, fun movies, crackers and hats. Slade and John Lennon. Clementines and the Radio Times. Fairy lights and lots and lots of chocolate…Christmas is there to be had if you can find it within yourself. And, thanks to the magic of modern technology, it is also there to be shared.
However you are spending your Christmas this year, we hope you have a truly wonderful time. We hope the season is full of love and laughter and joy. There may be no hugs or kisses or, even, a handshake just now. But all of that is soon to come. It’s not too far to go now.
Take care. Love one another. And, from everyone here at Belvoir Edinburgh, Merry Christmas.
We’ll see you in 2021. Let’s hope it’s a good one.