t's beginning to look a lot unlike Christmas..."
This year, we might be tempted to change the lyrics of this nearly 70-year-old holiday classic to fit the mood of the times. But not so fast. Sure, this year the holidays do look and feel different--smaller for one, minus the parties and traveling for another. But there are certain times of the year that are steeped in tradition--this is one of those times. While we can deeply honor tradition, we must also pivot forward, with meaning that is both timeless and timelier than ever.
Holiday cards were a big tradition when I was growing up. And around the first of December, my Mom would pull down the box with cards from last year and start addressing the cards that we would send out as well. In those days, everyone's mailbox was full of cards. They were displayed everywhere--bookshelves, in the slats of louver doors, and taped to the woodwork around doorways. My mom would use scotch tape to put up the cards we received all along the door frames leading to our living room. For other families, it was the refrigerator door where all the cards would be on display. A spot that was so barren all year and then suddenly--little by little--filled with life, color, pictures, the annual update letters from family and friends, and invitations to holiday gatherings. The refrigerator or the door frame was transformed into the light of our home during the holidays. We couldn't walk past it without opening a card, re-reading greetings, rekindling fond memories, and feeling sparks of love and connection.
While 2020 may be the most unusual year that most of us remember, it doesn't have to be the year to disconnect from others. I know I am dating myself talking about sending Christmas cards, but we can replace the card example with Face Time or any other electronic means at your disposal. Shari and I love nothing more than to get a Face Time "call" from our little 4-year-old grandson. Or a video message his mom captures for us. His artwork still has a place of honor on the refrigerator, but his videos and messages are in our hearts.
So, this year, while we are being responsible and limiting our gatherings to small groups and watching closely our behaviors and not traveling to large gatherings, remember that we can still connect with friends and family. Just send a Christmas card or a video chat or a Face Time call. The "Grinch" WILL NOT steal Christmas this year. 2021 promises to deliver a vaccine to help us combat this deadly virus.
Stay Safe. Wear your Mask, Wash your hands and Watch your distance. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.
Rick E Smith, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Troy Regional Medical Center