Christmas has always been special, but after 2020, this year’s Christmas feels even more meaningful.
It’s not because things have gotten better (in many ways, they haven’t).
Christmas 2021 is more meaningful because we gained a new perspective in 2020.
When the world shut down in 2020, everyone suffered. Schools closed, travel stopped abruptly, businesses shuttered, bank accounts emptied, and people died.
All that is to say, Christmas in 2020 was bleak for many. Some people tried to recreate Christmas magic, but they found that celebrating in a bubble wasn’t nearly as special.
All the typical Christmas trappings and celebrations didn’t mean much when we couldn’t share them. COVID-19 taught us that all too well.
Here are the lessons we learned that will make this Christmas even more special this year.
The Importance of Spending Time with Others
Last year, many Americans didn’t participate in traditions like traveling at Christmas to see family and loved ones.
Whether it was because they were concerned about a family member’s health or didn’t want to deal with masking on an airplane, people chose to stay home and have a more intimate celebration.
Similarly, there were fewer Christmas parties and gatherings. Children’s Christmas plays were canceled.
As a result, we realized how much we missed seeing one another. Moreover, we realized how much we missed celebrating Christmas together.
So, it’s no surprise that travel companies are anticipating huge numbers this Christmas.
According to Forbes, “Axios has reported that there are very few seats available to get to destinations, there are very few Airbnb properties left and there is such a shortage of rental cars, that individual car owners are competing with car rental companies.”
To put it in perspective, Myrtle Beach International Airport reports, “From Sunday (12/19) through Monday (1/3), there are 59,059 scheduled departing seats – an increase of 73% for the same period in 2020.”
We’ve Come to Appreciate the Simple Things
Charlie Brown has shouted about the commercialization of Christmas for years, but after COVID-19, people are finally listening.
Christmas was once about shopping, shopping, and more shopping. Most people’s Christmases looked very different from the humble birth of Jesus Christ in a manger.
But, with people seeing how quickly they could lose what they assumed was steady work, we became more intentional with our spending.
Instead of shopping for Christmas gifts just for the sake of it, we are being more intentional about how much we spend and how we spend it.
We’d rather buy gifts that are more purposeful and useful than frivolous.
We’re Ready to Celebrate
It’s not surprising that more homes are decorated for Christmas this year. People want to celebrate life and celebrate it well! Since Christmas is the season of good cheer, people are doing their best to display their joy.
Whether it is with Chevy Chase-style Christmas Vacation lights or throwing a neighborhood gingerbread house competition, Americans are finding every excuse in 2021 to celebrate communally.
Again, this doesn’t come as too much of a surprise – the sellout of Home Depot’s Halloween decorations was an early sign of the extra-festive holiday season to come.
We’re More Generous and Benevolent
You might think that COVID-19 made people give less to charities, but you’d be wrong.
COVID-19 made us more aware of the needs of others around the world and in our communities.
Rather than being tight-fisted Ebenezer Scrooges, Americans were generous with their hard-earned money.
Giving Tuesday reports, “The GivingTuesday Data Commons estimates that 35 million adults participated in many ways on GivingTuesday 2021 in the U.S., a 6% increase over 2020. Giving in the United States alone totaled $2.7 billion representing a 9% increase compared to GivingTuesday 2020, and a 37% increase since 2019. With unprecedented levels of giving in 2020, these totals represent a significant continued trend of increased generosity.”
Christmas has always been a season of hope. If you are a Christian, Christmas represents the hope we have in a Savior.
COVID-19 caused people to reflect on how fragile life is…and how much we owe to the Creator of our hope as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
For those of us at My Patriot Supply, we also held onto hope because we took the time to learn about the history of pandemics and prepare.
We know the world has changed, but we’ve stayed aware and feel confident in the skills we have gained during this strange season.
We learned everything from how to bake bread without yeast to how to survive a year-long blackout.
With knowledge comes hope.
Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply