It’s finally here – Christmas has arrived, with all the traditions and memories of times past. We all celebrate a timeless amalgam of snow sleighs, Christmas carols, beautiful cards, and bell-ringing Santas, and so much more. Christmas is many things to many people, and while it is rooted in Christian belief and tradition, it has a universal following. It is a time of goodwill and sharing by people of all – or no – faith. Best of all, it takes us back to our roots. Celebrating Christmas has become a national pastime. A coming back to the country for all of us.
It’s especially important this year. It’s been a year of pain and uncertainty, of a loss of faith in our institutions, of sickness and shortages and threats to our health care. And now the year is ending with those threats at a crescendo, with the pandemic keeping us further apart at a time when we need to be closer.
You know,, we didn’t always celebrate the season of Christmas; its an American tradition that came about during an even worse time than now: during our civil war. It was a horrible time. The customs that arose – the pastoral peace of the manger, the gifts of the Magi, the giving, loving spirit of Christmas – all gave purpose and meaning and helped the nation to heal and make sense of their time. During the war it gave the soldiers the comfort of home. Afterward, these customs gave the country a soothing sense of unity.
The Pandemic will be over soon. Let’s celebrate that this Christmas, as the best present we could give each other. The vaccines are getting out tot he people, and they are said to be more than 90 per cent effective. The more people that get it, the safer the world becomes.
About the Author
Len Wilcox is a retired scientist who also ran a newspaper and has written for agricultural publications since the 1980s. He was a regular contributor to California Farmer Magazine. His commentary “The Western View” is a regular feature on Farm City Newsday and AgNet West.