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As the challenging times continue, how do we impart good wishes to others?

On this day every year, celebrations are at their peak—a sumptuous feast, a multitude of presents, dazzling decor in homes, and a cacophony of laughter and animated conversations among families and friends. However, the impact of the pandemic ultimately took a toll on us. Rather than wrapping up the year with gatherings, we connect with far-away loved ones through online platforms. We also remember the ones we lost, grieve, and gradually move on. Celebrating Christmas with the joy we had before can be difficult. So, how do we do it? Can we truly rejoice in the birth anniversary of Jesus when our hearts carry certain burdens? How do we even send good wishes to others at this time? What kind of Christmas message do we want to give and receive?

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(Photo from Annie Spratt)

A toast to creativity

Before the pandemic, we typically send greetings through simple, “Merry Christmas” and holiday cards. The latter’s Christmas messages are generally cheerful using a variety of delightful (or terribly tacky) puns and good wishes. However, the pandemic’s impact overpowered us. There are some of us who lost our jobs or worse, a loved one, some who struggle to look out for our mental health, some who keep finding ways to survive or keep our livelihoods, and some who continue to live in a bubble of anxiety over an uncertain future. It is critical to recognize some of us experienced terrible events this year. So, merely greeting “Merry Christmas” may not be the best way to do it.

For certain card companies like Hallmark and Minted, they found creative ways to do send Christmas messages. It ranges from “It’s been a ruff year,” with an endearing dog photo, “Happy New Year from waaaay over here,” “We laughed, we cried, we zoomed,” to “You are essential,” and “Sending good vibes from an appropriate social distance.”

These are the kind of messages that place a smile on our faces, even for a while. It warms our hearts as we remember that despite everything we have been through, there is someone who thought of us, someone who cares. Although 2020 was difficult, we are still here, nearing its end, spending Christmas day.

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(Photo from Pure Julia)

Choosing to love

Above all, the real Christmas message of this year is all about love. We remember how this day became a celebration—it is all because of God’s tremendous love for us. Sacrificing His only son Jesus shows his immense love, no matter who we are, what we did, and what we will be in the future. Christmas day is love and it is only right to embrace and share this with others, especially in these times when we all need it.

Beyond the sadness, pain, loneliness, grief, struggles, and anxieties, love has and will always triumph. So, in sending your greetings and good wishes, always let God and His love flow through you. Be honest and keep a hopeful attitude. 2020 was indeed terrible, but as long as we are still alive, there is hope for fruitful days ahead. There is joy in acknowledging our existence and our capability of loving others. We rejoice on Christmas day because of God’s love and we celebrate because we can and should always choose to love.

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