Seven Days to Christmas
I had planned to repeat my '12 days to Christmas' series but then something or the other came up on December 14, and as a result, I couldn't post anything on that date.
I thought, maybe, I should skip it altogether, and simply focus on other things this year. There's more to do in life than continuing on with a tradition that I have neglected over the years.
Maybe I should just accept the fact that am not much of a blogger as I used to be, and maybe I shouldn't pressure myself to do something out of habit rather than passion.
But here's the thing.
I thought long and hard about it and realised that I do have a lot to talk about and share. It's not true that there isn't any passion left but rather there's more of it.
In fact, there are thoughts that are yearning to be articulated, and ideas that are craving expression. So if a twelve day countdown is no longer possible, why not find another? How about seven days?
And so here I am once more to my blogging board, and let's see how it goes.
2020 has been a rather exceptional year - probably one of those eventful years that we will not forget so easily. It has also been a year full of promises and a year filled with surprises and disappointments.
One thing for sure, no one is going to look back at 2020 and remain neutral about it. It's a year that will elicit strong emotions for generations to come.
And now that Christmas is here, it has forced people around the world to learn to celebrate differently. And perhaps in doing so, many of us are learning some hard truths about life, about festivities, about what really matters... and also, why COVID-19 really sucks!
If one really goes to the heart of it, humanity as a species thrives on fellowship. We are at our best when we are together with others. We are social beings and are not created to sprout on our own. We need each other because that's how we grow and find our bearings.
It doesn't mean that solitude is not possible or even unfeasible. It means that even in our quest for solitude it is always something we pursue voluntarily rather than be forced to make a choice.
Thus, the idea of maintaining social distance - even physical distance - goes against what we are as a species. We cannot in essence maintain social distance and still expect to achieve the grand ambitions of life.
Then there is the question of touch.
One of the main precautionary measures as far as COVID 19 is concerned has been to avoid touching anyone - or anything. Thus, many of us have spent the best part of the year without shaking anyone's hands or even giving a hug. We have joyfully and willingly avoided the joy of being tactile, and called it survival skills.
In doing so, we have allowed ourselves to miss the warmth of discovering a handshake from strangers or hugs or kisses from friends. We have chosen to remain chronically untouched to protect ourselves from infection.
And when we think of Christmas, what's the one thing that comes to mind this time of the year? Christmas parties where we mingle in crowded spaces to enjoy a bit of merriment? Moments of hugging and kissing as a way of greeting those close to us - or those we want to be close to! Services in churches where we gather in large numbers and enjoy the chance of meeting and greeting loved ones? Or just being able to sing carols loudly and freely unmindful of particles floating in air?
As the number of cases keep escalating in various countries, the decisions we have to take go against what we are as a species. We realise that the road to survival for humanity is also the path of discomfort and inconvenience, and yet that's exactly what we have to do.
It's an odd place to be in but also the most necessary place to be in. In the end, it is also what loving our neighbour is all about - not in a mushy Hallmark greeting kind of way but as an act of agape in the truest and rawest sense.
Isn't that what Christmas is all about?