True confession time: I don’t like Christmas. I know that’s probably an unpopular thing to say, and it’s a strange thing to bring up in the middle of April, but stick with me for a minute. I’m not totally Scrooge; I get the magic of the season. I just get so overwhelmed with all the busyness, the pressure of expectations, and the expenses that I’m ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes.
A few years ago, my wise husband suggested that I change my perspective, and start looking for moments of joy in all the chaos. I think of them as “moments of Christmas,” and it’s made a world of difference for me. I find moments of Christmas when the congregation sings the traditional carols, when the candles are lit on Christmas Eve, and when I see little girls twirling in their Christmas dresses. I find moments sitting quietly beside my lit Christmas tree, and when I put up my beloved nativity set.
This Covid-19 quarantine period is the same way. It’s easy to get stressed out and overwhelmed by the statistics, the sickness, the chaos of distance learning, and the economic devastation. Those things are very real and have to be considered, but I want to encourage you to not lose your mind over them. Though it may not feel natural, I want you to look for moments of joy in the chaos, and find things you can be thankful for.
- My son came home from college early, and I get to hear him play cello again.
- I get to wear PJs. A Lot.
- My family has been holding weekly Zoom meetings from our homes across the country, and we’ve started playing games together.
- Our dog is loving all the cuddles, walks, and attention.
- The sun is shining, and we pulled our ’97 Mustang project-toy out of storage (and had time to replace the headlights).
- People are covering their windows with hearts, and kids are out coloring the walk with chalk drawings.
- We rediscovered an old online game we used to play when Jacob was little – when it was hard to get a sitter and go out – and we started playing together again.
- We have time to watch movies, clean out closets, read books, and play board games.
I’ve been snapping pictures of the small moments. Some day when quarantine is just a memory, I’ll have my pictures of dinners, Zoom meetings, and heart windows to remember that this time wasn’t a total loss. Hopefully it will remind me that we found a way to hold church (and even take communion on Good Friday), that neighbors stepped up for one another, and that we learned to appreciate the essential occupations like cashiers and trash collectors who often get taken for granted. I hope you too can find moments of joy in spite of the chaos!