What is Your Wish?
It is fair to say I have a large collection of Christmas music, some faith based and some purely commercial, and that, despite my Dad's best and repeated efforts, it comes out annually for my listening pleasure prior to Thanksgiving. I don't have a desire to rush Christmas, especially the commercialized version experienced today, but I do have a strong desire to foster the feeling that permeates as the calendar turns from Halloween to Thanksgiving and beyond. In one word, that feeling is hope.
In 2014 to introduce their holiday scent collection, Glade fragrances invited Kevin Ross to write a song inspired by one of the scents, and "This is My Wish" is the result of that invitation. (If you look for it on YouTube, you can find the commercial that launched campaign; I included this version simply for the quality.) My first introduction to this song was the clip included in the original commercial and I was immediately hooked. I searched for and downloaded the full version that same week, leaving it on repeat throughout the season. Six years later, it remains a song at the top of my "must listen to multiple times every season" playlist.
COVID-19 has stolen many things from all of us, not least of which is time with others which is often where people find what is described as "holiday spirit". This year as Thanksgiving approached I questioned if I would even bother with decorations or loading my Christmas playlists onto my iPod. After all, what was the point if not one thing was going to be "usual"?
Thanksgiving morning I woke feeling tired and defeated, and sat in my recliner in a full-on pout. And then I realized I had a choice to make. Was I going to let COVID steal this, too? After some good old self talk, I had my answer: No! It didn't matter that I would be the primary person enjoying the décor. My husband and in-laws (our COVID bubble) would enjoy it too, though admittedly not to my same level. I was reminded, though, as I began to carry out box after box and place things throughout the house, the benefit I receive from the ambiance it creates in my home. Hope.
There's that word again. Hope.
Hope that the restrictions of surrounding Christmas 2020 will not be in place in 2021. Hope that we as human beings will learn how to embrace and celebrate differences, seeing in each person inherent value, worth, and need. Hope that the baby placed in a manger, that baby of a humble birth, will return and will bring with him a restoration that includes wholeness and peace. Hope that, as Kevin writes, peace will find its way to every boy and girl. Hope that we can all see this is the time for harmony, not more division.
Hope is my wish for all of us. A hope that is lasting and assured. A hope that fosters connection and peace, a hope that brings enjoyment and stillness amidst chaos and distress.
As you prepare to say goodbye to 2020 (Woohoo!!!), consider your wish. What do you long for in the world, in your home, and within yourself? As you answer that question, challenge yourself to go the next step and make a plan to make your wish a reality. It isn't all in your control, but a lot of it is. Focus your energy on your choices and what is in your realm of control and do those things. Trust that, by God's grace, the rest will happen as other do the same.