The Coronavirus pandemic and government restrictions are impeding Christmas celebrations across the globe.
Here in Wales, the restrictions have hampered preparations and left individuals in a situation where they may be unable to celebrate with family. As I write this, my grandmother’s ability to join our family on Christmas Day is in limbo.
There will be thousands of elderly and vulnerable people across Wales in such a situation, and we should spare a thought for those isolated in a season rooted in family.
Contemplating the markedly different Christmas that awaits this year has highlighted that we have on the whole lost sight of the reason for the season. The meaning is not found, in food or presents.
For those of us who believe, the nativity saw the birth of Jesus, the incarnation of God. The child, born in lowly surroundings, destined to suffer death and resurrection, in line with scripture. As stated earlier, the season is rooted in the family the birth of Jesus completes a family unit. Jesus Christ conceived by the holy spirit, born of the Virgin Mary and raised and protected by Joseph.
In our increasingly secular society, materialism has supplanted the birth of Christ. The scaled-back Christmas that many of us will be experiencing this year should allow us to look past the materialism and focus on what is truly important in life, each other. Let us aspire to try to be better, to be more considerate and caring going forward.
The last few days with the imposition of restrictions may have seemed short of hope. Let the humble manger act as a reminder that Christmas is not about the trappings. Instead, the nativity is a story of hope, with the birth of Jesus the emergence of light into the darkness.
Hopefully, in a year, restrictions will be a thing of the past, then we can return to celebrating Christmas as we have traditionally. Until then let us look out for those facing Christmas alone and try to ease their isolation.
Have a blessed Christmas.