For everyone I know, 2020 was a year filled with stress , strife, and worry. Twin pandemics of COVID and fear unfolded against a backdrop of social unrest and political chaos. Good riddance to 2020! But not without its own unique opportunities for reflection and clarification about what is most important and what we value.
As we close in on the holidays and round the bend into 2021, I am reminded of Charles Dickens’ story The Christmas Carol. The old miser Ebenezer Scrooge experiences visitations from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet To Come. As a consequence of these visions, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.
We can think of The Christmas Carol as a kind of spiritual fairy tale; a parable about the experience of “waking up” in life and its importance in the transformation of human suffering. The timeless appeal of this story is that Scrooge is able to achieve what we all deeply long for: to transcend the structures of personality that keep us trapped in our own misery.
Scrooge discovered the transformative joy of giving. In this spirit,
May you have the gladness of Xmas, which is hope.
The spirit of Xmas, which is peace.
And the heart of Xmas, which is love.