Advent 2020: O Lonely Night

We are on day 267 of 15 days to slow the spread.

Honestly, until recent years I was unfamiliar with the tradition of Blue Christmas.

I mean, I know the song and have for years fondly mocked the Elvis version.

But I do not come from a tradition of celebrating Blue Christmas in a service that honors those who have passed during the year. A beautiful, if painful, time of remembrance.

It seems that this year, that concept is an even more poignant reminder. We’ve lost so many and so much due to the pandemic.

It’s been a hard year for every one.

As a portrayer of Santa, I try to do some good around the holidays when I can. This morning, while you’re reading and sharing this, I’ll be doing a Zoom session with a group of preschool students.

Earlier in the week I had what might be this year’s most meaningful visit.

I did window visits at a senior assisted living home. Window visits because not even Santa can come inside during a pandemic.

The visit was both heartwarming and heartbreaking.

Heartwarming as I saw faces light up as I showed at their window. Heartbreaking as I realized that, for some,

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mine might be the only visit they get this season.

Not that families don’t care. True, some don’t. But there are no visits during a pandemic.

There are no hugs, no handshakes, no finger pulls.

See? It’s not all bad.

But it made me think.

Like you, our Christmas, as well as Thanksgiving, will be significantly pared down this year. I’m not even sure I’ll get out the fancy eatin’ plates.

Still, I’ll have my family. And the animals. We’ll always have the animals and the post-chewed remnants of treasured ornaments.

I think about those who won’t have their family, or their friends, or anyone really, perhaps other than a nurse coming in with meds, or someone coming in with a tray of mediocre Christmas dinner.

It’s just not right, but in a year like this, what can we do?

Cindy Lou Who understood in at least one of the many versions of How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

She said, “No one should be alone on Christmas.”

Well, except maybe the people who brought us The Grinch Musical. They should be alone and forced to eat cold porridge on Christmas.

Seriously, I had to stop after ten minutes.

Stink. Stank. Stunk.

I digress.

Cindy Lou is right.

But there will be people alone on Christmas.

The holidays are already a difficult time for many people. Remembering lost loved ones. Realizing that there is less life ahead than behind.

Realizing that another year has gone and we’ve not written the Great American Novel.


I digress.

I confess that I’ve had some melancholy moments lately listening to Christmas music. I wrote about some of that last month.

I’m still pretty blessed, but this isolation is getting old even for an introvert like me.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t make resolutions and plans.

I mean, sure, New Year resolutions are made to be broken. But we had so much planned for this year. I don’t need to list them, you have lists of your own.

If we’ve learned anything, I hope that it’s that people are more important than things. Relationships are more important than possessions.

We’ve all known that since elementary school. We just haven’t lived it out as perhaps we could have.

I want to try to do better with that in the coming year. True, the pandemic and my own health challenges will limit that for a while.

But I can write notes, I can send emails, and with a good amount of courage even an introvert like me can make phone calls.

No one should be alone at Christmas.

Actually, no one should be alone.

I promise I’m going to try, Cindy Lou.


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