While browsing a local retailer in search of Christmas gifts for my family, I overheard one woman tell another woman that this year, she is not going to put up a Christmas tree or decorate for the holidays, even though she has done that for years.
With the world muddling through pandemic fatigue, it has become apparent that although Christmas 2020 saw many people putting up their lights to help brighten the holiday season, 2021 may not see that same kind of celebration.
A quick scroll through social media, and one finds many in similar situations.
And here at 6 a.m. on the first workday of this week, I can honestly say that my own energy is tapped out.
I need another morning to sleep in. Another afternoon nap time.
But I am not alone.
I know that some of my readers are going through countless exhausting, heart wrenching, seemingly impossible situations.
Tired of carrying the load, the light of the Christmas season can seem to be too much to share.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a lighted holiday boat parade.
There were fewer lights on the shores of the lake to wave in return to the 94 happily decorated floating vessels.
The last time I visited this parade, several people donned wearable holiday lights and waved various lanterns, lighted swords, candy canes and reindeer lights.
This time was markedly different.
The vessels floated by and the crowd was silent.
Truly a silent night, I thought.
Maybe the crowd was in contemplation or deep conversation.
Suddenly, one woman turned on her cell phone flash light and started waving it to those who put so much work into their lighted boats.
It brought to mind a thought, even a challenge for myself that I wanted to share with you.
What can we collectively do to help make this a brighter season for others?
My thought wanders to the proverbial, every day greeting and conversation.
A cheerful hello and “how are you” – while waiting for the response and likewise responding – goes a long way.
Even better, that moment when we see a need and step up to meet it, even if we only have a little to offer can make such a difference.
Light beams a long way into the darkness, even if it is just a little light.
Selah. Let the Spirit of the season be strong within you.