Credit: Getty Images/Liliboas

"A thrill of hope.The weary world rejoices. For yonder breaks. A new and glorious morn."

The words of "O Holy Night" weren’t written for a world tired of a pandemic, whose inhabitants had spent the better part of a year in the darkness of loneliness, disappointment, economic hardship, and for many, devastating loss.

But this Christmas, when we’re all aching for a "new and glorious morn," such carols take on new meaning.

It is a holiday season like no other. Many of us head into this time weighed down by burdens of all kinds; the emotional and physical toll of the pandemic has been enormous. But the warmth of the holidays still can be a soothing salve.

This year, our celebrations will be different. We won’t have the holiday office parties, the last-minute rush to a crowded mall or the dash for a flight cross country. Our homes won’t be filled with family and friends, shoulder to shoulder around the dinner table. Thousands of us will be missing a loved one who was with us just a year ago.

But perhaps we can find joy in the quiet, and in the traditions we maintain, like the foods, the tree and the songs still a part of our holiday. As much as possible, our senses still will overflow with the smells, tastes and sounds of the season.

Then there’s the giving. It may be tough for many of us to give the larger or more expensive items this year, but even a handwritten note, a box of cookies left on a loved one’s porch, or a video call among cousins or friends could be what we need. Give, too, to those in need, whether by volunteering in a safe way, or donating to a favorite charity.

And, for a moment, dwell in the hope the holiday season brings, the hope that tells us new, even glorious, days lie ahead.

— The editorial board


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