I just looked at my Spotify Wrapped and my number one song for this year was Stormzy’s hit single, “I Dunno.” (Also known as the tagline for 2020). And it got me thinking: this has been a long, dark year of nothing but unknowns. It has left us shaking our heads and wondering what, if anything, we can hold onto. And as the holiday season is increasingly upon us, I’ve realised that Christmas is that one thing we can still hold tight to.
In fact, we need it now more than ever. Because, at its core, Christmas is all about magic and hope. It’s about that little spark that ignites in the heart, flickering tenderly and inviting us to believe in something again. It’s about the little smile that springs to our lips when we see Christmas lights glowing inside somebody’s home. It’s that little reminder that it may be dark and cold outside, but it’s cozy and warm within. Christmas, more than any other time of the year, is the time when we’re open to embracing the unexpected. It’s the time when we’re willing to be a little kinder, a little softer, and a little more magical.
And even if Christmas looks different this year, those qualities are not dependent upon the world staying the same. Because even if we are beset by social distancing and fear, we can still find comfort in the little things. We can decorate our homes with twinkling lights. We can dance around the kitchen and bake our favourite treats. We can fill our homes with little baubles that make us smile. We can snuggle up with fluffy socks and cocoa and re-watch our favourite Christmas films. We can break out the candy cane earrings and ugly jumpers and we can sing along to familiar old holiday tunes. Gingerbread lattes and holiday rom-coms may be very simple pleasures, but they bring a special glow to our hearts. And at the end of 2020, we need all the simple pleasures we can get!
Our traditions may look different this year; we may be connecting with our families over Zoom and not around the table. We may share our favourite movies over Watch Party instead of snuggling together in the living room around the TV. But no matter how you celebrate the holidays, no matter how our traditions have changed, this holiday season is a reminder that we made it. We survived 2020. And that’s why we deserve every little bit of holiday cheer that we can wring out of this ghastly year. (Let’s be honest, 2020 owes us that much!)
So, take pride in every little thing about the holidays that brings you joy. Cherish those special treats that you only get to have once a year. Write cards to your friends and make a Christmassy craft! Look for small ways to extend a sprig of holiday joy and make someone else smile this season. Because kindness costs nothing and neither do the simple pleasures that we cherish during the holidays.
It might feel as though 2020 has sucked all the life from us and that there’s no point in bothering with Christmas spirit any more. But I beg to differ. I think this Christmas is the perfect time to be Christmassy! In fact, I think it requires us to be extra Christmassy! Because every little bit of joy we welcome into our lives is another way of reminding ourselves that hope and magic can still be found and that we always have something to look forward to.