Okay, I'm going to allow us to be sad for a few minutes. There are so many things that we will be missing out on this Christmas. Toronto has had so many Covid cases lately that we have now been placed into lockdown as of today. Not only does that mean retail stores, restaurants, church, and other places will be closed, it also means we are following the advice of our Prime Minister and reducing the people we see. The kids are still going to school, but other than that we don't plan on doing much. I know there are different restrictions depending on your area but no matter where you are, things will be different for you this Christmas, and we are allowed to be upset about that. So here are some specific things we cannot do this year:
My parents cannot come for Christmas this year. They are in the Atlantic Bubble and travelling to this hot spot would not be a good idea.
We cannot have our Annual Christmas Drop In. It was to be our 7th year hosting and we will miss welcoming our neighbours and friends into our home.
No concerts at school or church pageant.
No in person church services for Advent or Christmas Eve.
No Santa visit at the mall.
No shopping. I love the hustle and bustle of the mall and checking out small local shops, but online will have to do.
No looking at the lights downtown and then going for dinner at a restaurant.
I always tell my children (and myself) that it is okay to be sad and mad about something, but you just can't be sad for too long and let it ruin your day. I know that is pretty simplistic, but it works for us.
So we can choose not to dwell on the events and visitors that we usually have and instead remember that the true meaning of Christmas cannot be taken away from us. We can still celebrate the birth of Christ and spend this Advent season preparing for that gift. We may not be able to sing at concerts or in church, but we can listen to Christmas music and sing in our homes. We can also send love to our family and friends by sending cards or other gifts. We can make donations to special places where the work of Jesus is being carried out. We can find things that bring us peace - maybe that's a run outside, a glass of wine while you sit by the tree, reading, attending an online church service, spending time in prayer, watching a movie, or so many other things. The quality of our faith is not reliant on being able to do the regular holiday activities that we are used to doing. Jesus will come regardless of whether we have done all of the things.
So while I will be missing out many different activities, and I am allowed to be sad about that, I am going to focus my intentions on preparing for Christ the Newborn King this advent season.