Christmas is here again


Alex Eduque

I can almost bet that as you read the title of this piece you broke out into tune. And I felt no other title could be more apt given that another (pandemic) year has just passed us by. I remember at this same time last year, though we tried our very best to keep up the festive spirit, things were much more subdued and grim. And while a lot has happened this past year – more to some than others – many things have still stayed the same. To put things concisely, it seems rather surreal that we are in the midst of the holiday season again. Truly, the days can be long, but the months just pass us by.

If there is one thing we are more attuned with these days, it is rolling with the punches. We have accepted that change happens, and we are now more adaptable creatures in my opinion. Change can be good when we do not resent it and readily accept it. Change is much easier when we surrender to our faith, and believe in our hearts that everything happens for a reason. Change allows us to grow and transform – into better people, and who we are meant to be at this point in our lives. Change is vital, I have realized, in enabling progress. And sometimes, we need to take a pause to internalize all of this.

A year later, as I reflect on it in its aftermath, that is perhaps one of the gifts the lockdown brought us – the time to reflect and to realize. I now realize that it was only when we opened our minds to the possibility of positivity at a time when we were so biased towards fear and pessimism, that we saw the light. That life does indeed go on if we allow it to, and that the sun shines on us even when we least expect it – although staunchly dimmer at times compared to others.

But more than the changes, the many things that stayed the same is now also much more prominent. For one, the true meaning of Christmas and the very reason we celebrate it in the first place is a prime example of tradition that will never change regardless of any situation. While the manner in which we choose to spend the holidays can differ completely, the core and the “reason for the season” will always remain the same.

There will come a time when we look back at this pandemic as the time when the world literally came to a halt, and where our views of normalcy and routine changed completely. And although life has started to go on again, the question of whether we will ever return back completely to the normal we once knew still looms. And when, we certainly do not know. What I do know though and what I am certain of is that when that day comes, I would like to keep the attitude of resilience, flexibility and open mindedness, as I do the chance to live slowly from time to time to be able to realize, reflect and internalize. This pandemic, if anything, truly taught me to count my blessings and appreciate the small things.