Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Okay, so 2020 wasn’t a great year.  But, here are a few things that made a not-so-great year, not-so-bad, in no particular order:

  • Take out
  • Outdoor dining at restaurants (summer)
  • Parks, trails, and sidewalks for walking
  • Beaches
  • Social media (a mixed blessing, I know)
  • TV & movies
  • Delivery
  • Staying Healthy
  • Garbage pick-up

(Odd, you say?  After a missed week, when our block was deemed too dangerous for garbage pick-up, due to nearby rioting, I felt like running out and hugging the sanitation workers when they came, again.  But, you know, social distancing.)

  • Mail and newspaper delivery (See above)
  • Staying safe
  • Pets
  • Family & friends
  • Love, and everything else that remains the same

The first Christmas was no picnic.  Would you like to be a teenage girl, living in a country occupied by a violent regime, about to give birth to your first child, forced to travel long distances, on foot and by donkey, to complete a census?  The one we did, this year, was online and took all of about 5-minutes to complete.  You’re in labor and your husband can’t find a room in any inn, so you end up in a stable!  Anyone who’s ever been on a farm can easily imagine what that must have been like.  Cold and smelly, is my guess.  Hopefully, they found some clean straw and a few blankets to try to make Mary comfortable.  When her baby, Jesus, was born, they wrapped him in swaddling clothes (rags and towels) and laid him in a manger.  Not so glamorous. 

But, it didn’t end there.  When Jesus was still a toddler, a crazy king had all the baby boys in the kingdom killed.  He was paranoid, clinging to power, and feared the new King of the Jews predicted by the three wise men.  So, his parents had to pack up, leave home, and flee.

So how was your year?  Maybe, not as bad as that?  Anyway, it could be worse.  In the past Century there was WWI, the 1918 flu epidemic, the Great Depression, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Mutually Assured Destruction, assassinations, etc., etc.  We got through all that, and we’ll get through this, too.  And, a vaccine is just around the corner.

This year a Christmas Star, a conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn–the closest in 800 years, will be visible in the southwest sky on the winter solstice, December 21.  Go out and take a look.  It must be a sign of brighter days ahead!

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