A Hopeful Heart Anyway
“He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.” ~Roy L. Smith
With COVID numbers rising, Toronto is in lockdown once again, with bars, gyms and restaurants shuttered.
Fortunately, anticipating potential shipping delays, I had already purchased my holiday gifts. Last weekend, during the first real snow of the season, which added a Christmas-is-coming spirit to my endeavour, I spent a delightful Sunday wrapping presents for loved ones in front of a fire.
I feel smugly organized.
I also feel a sort of emptiness, the chasm of separation from family, human contact and traditional celebrations.
Many of us will be housebound and alone this holiday season without the usual festivities and family gatherings the season engenders.
The holidays also accentuate isolation, separation and loss of loved ones: a fertile soil for self-pity.
Returning from the post office on Friday—the snow having melted, and my bag now empty of its carefully wrapped gifts—I saw that the city had put up decorations on lampposts and in the park through which I walk on my way home.
It made me smile, visuals reminders of hope and connection and joy.
So, for the first time in years—since I’m usually somewhere other than my own home for Christmas—I dug out some holiday decorations and placed them around my apartment.
Because I believe that this year it’s up to us, each of us, to make the holidays joyous anyway.
It’s up to each of us to wrap up a very long and dangerous year with our spine steeled, shoulders back and our chins up.
Despite COVID, despite the election, the economy, the uncertainty and the emotional toll we have paid thus far, it’s up to each of us to make our own meaning and claim your own happiness—through sheer determination.
It may be a long winter. It may be a hard one. But we get to choose how we’ll come through it.
As we enter December, let’s keep an eye on spring.
And the Christmas decorations.
“Hope is the pillar that holds up the world. Hope is the dream of a waking man.” ~Pliny the Elder