Good News and Joy
"But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.'" (Luke 2:10) Though Christmas and its traditions may look different this year, there is good news and joy to be had with a little shift in our Christmas plans. In stripping away some of the fluff of the holiday such as big entertainment events; parades; travel and huge gatherings, we may have just unwrapped the core of what Christmas was meant to be all along, "Good News and great joy."
According to a survey of 3,000 Americans and Brits by Christmas.co.uk, a website dedicated to all things Christmas, 51 percent of Americans don’t expect to spend Christmas with family, while 59 percent of Brits said the same. That being said, how then, are families bringing the joy? Looking at the bright side, here are a couple examples:
“‘We're happy to be saving money, spending more time together, and… have a less stressful holiday,' said a 31-year-old human resources analyst in Oceanside, California.
In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 33-year-old Shannon O'Reilly usually travels back home to New Jersey at Christmas, “and it never, ever feels like a vacation.” She and her husband both have large extended families. Trying to squeeze in visits with all of them leaves little meaningful face time for any. “[This year] we don’t have to deal with the crowded airports, stores and overall mania that the holiday brings.”
New traditions are popping up all over the world and old traditions are being revived. Some suggestions include: create a gratitude jar; include a virtual fundraiser for a charity during family game night; share cookie recipes instead of sharing cookies; volunteer; write more notes and letters. Caroling is a tradition that has a new look online, either recorded or on a video conferencing platform. Sharing music to the elderly, especially, is a great idea.
Here are some joyful ideas for the season that can be used through video conferencing with your friends and family.
1) During Christmas dinner and gift opening
2) While baking cookies with Grandma
3) While reading the Christmas story together
4) While making Christmas decorations
The money saved by having a dressed down Christmas can be given to charities. "It’s no secret the COVID-19 pandemic has hurt many American businesses. Some have closed their doors permanently. As thousands and thousands of Americans struggle financially through the pandemic, so too are the charitable organizations they usually support.” Another suggestion is to pay off a debt for someone or forgive a debt owed to you. Take away the glitz and glitter and replace it with what God had in mind all along; peace, joy, good news, and love.
And to all a goodnight!
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https://www.torrancememorial.org/News_Center/2020/October/Dont_Let_the_Coronavirus_Take_the_Merry_Out_of_Y.aspx  https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/no-drama-corona-christmas-some-secretly-jumping-for-joy/63-4071e79f-2ab7-4292-859b-957fbf87dfc4  https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/start-these-5-covid-friendly-holiday-traditions-give-back  https://www.wtap.com/2020/08/12/some-charities-suffering-amid-the-covid-19-pandemic/