Weary, you may be weary. Or perhaps you’ve crossed over to angry, angry that once again during the holiday season, we’re still talking about masking, distancing, separation. We’re inundated with the news of new cases, breakthrough cases, deaths, boosters, variants, mandates. If you don’t have strong feelings about the past couple of years, you just may be dead already.
We can still have HOPE though, especially with another Christmas coming soon, which is an opportunity to celebrate the hope represented by the birth of Jesus and his message of reconciliation and encouragement to the world, such as telling us to “cast your cares on me.” Perhaps you are a Hemingway fan and this quote from The Old Man and the Sea can encourage you. As the old man struggles to catch and bring home his marlin he thinks: “I may not be as strong as I think, but I know many tricks and I have resolution. It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin.” I submit to you that you do indeed have many tricks and you have resolution. Therefore, it is silly not to hope. You must. This is the month of hope!
Personally, I am wanting to simplify things this December, to remember to be thankful for the small things. For example: socks, aka “stockings.” I got to thinking about The Night Before Christmas poem and the line: “Their stockings were all hung by the chimney with care.” Stockings, simple socks nailed to the mantle in the hopes of being receptacles of treats and gifts. Which sock would you choose to hang by the chimney? Certainly not one from your favorite pair. This led me to the realization that socks are severely underrated. Do you rummage through your sock drawer searching for your favorite pair – the comfiest, the softest, warmest, as I do? Do I ever stop to be thankful for that perfect pair of socks, especially during the cold winter months? Sadly, no, not until this year.
I am going to be thankful for my socks, for friends and family, for candlelight, for music, for sleep, for coffee in the mornings and sunrises. I’m going to be thankful for Christmas lights and the smell of pine needles, for Zoom connections on my computer and for snow that shines like glitter when the light is just right. I am going to be especially thankful that we will get through the shortest day of the year soon and start collecting more minutes of sunlight every week. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you who call the Whitefish Chain your home or getaway! We can all surely be thankful for this place!