Thoughts of December
“I pray this winter be gentle and kind—a season of rest from the wheel of the mind.”~ John Geddes, journalist
It has been quite a year! A year we never dreamed of and one that we are all happy to see the end of! We are sick of world politics, the American election news, Trump, and the GOP. We are exhausted from social distancing and staying home in our own little bubbles. We are tentatively looking forward to the New Year, hoping for better days.
Our spirits need bolstering — don’t yours? We are more than ready for good news. This month we share a few articles and happy news items that lifted us up. We hope they bring you joy!
As the third wave of the pandemic forced countries to reinstate lock-downs and enforce stringent restrictions, people lamented the loss of treasured Christmas traditions. With large gatherings prohibited, and travel once again discouraged, we realized that our annual festivities would be drastically different.
But our faith in humanity was upheld as families and friends everywhere devised new and clever ways to celebrate with each other. Zoom and other online video chats were organized, and new traditions were started. Some families cooked the same meals and ate them together over Zoom or Google Duo. Cardboard cut-outs were constructed to represent missing relatives and presents were opened together online.
People cooked, baked, and delivered meals, treats and gifts to others in their community. Drive-through Christmas pageants, church services, concerts, light shows, and other festive events were held across the country. People reached out to others in ways that were heartfelt and COVID safe. Christmas came after all.
In the immortal words of Dr. Seuss: “It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”
The news of vaccines to combat the coronavirus has brought the world hope after the fears and hardships we have endured throughout 2020. A Christmas miracle that has brought a sense of relief, joy and yes, hope to us all.
As with any new scientific advancement, we have questions. What are the benefits of getting the vaccination, and what are the drawbacks? It is always a good idea to ask questions and seek out answers. Talk to your health advisor. Do some research of your own — look to reputable organizations and science professionals for advice. Find out what is fact and what is fiction.
Start here for some helpful information:
From the Mayo Clinic:
COVID-19 vaccines: Get the facts
COVID-19 vaccine myths debunked
7 Myths about coronavirus vaccines
Visit Canada’s Health Services website for comprehensive information about COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.
For most of us, the vaccines offer the tenuous promise of a return to normalcy. Of course, we still have weeks or months of maintaining COVID-19 prevention measures — practising social distance, wearing masks, staying in our bubbles. But now, we can see a small light at the end of the tunnel.
Remember Captain Sir Tom Moore, the UK’s favourite centenarian? The war veteran and charity fundraiser garnered global fame earlier this year when he completed 100 laps around his garden raising more than £30 million ($52 million CAD) for the National Health Services. Affectionately known as Captain Tom, the 100-year-old is once again lending his support to a worthy cause. In partnership with Cadbury and Age UK, Captain Tom has launched a podcast series, The Originals, to encourage young people to start conversations with seniors. As part of the Donate Your Words campaign, the Originals hopes to connect lonely people 65 and older to their community at large by listening and sharing their stories. Listen to the podcasts on Spotify.
Anastasija Apanasova and Joshua Davis of Maple Ridge, BC had to cancel their 135-guest wedding because of COVID-19 restrictions. They decided to get married despite the pandemic regulations even though that meant they could not share their day with their family and friends. So, they arranged to exchange their vows at the groom’s parents’ house, witnessed by only the maid of honour and the best man. The story doesn’t end there — find out how Joshua’s best man planned the perfect wedding gift and surprised the newlyweds.
And one more thing — Happiness!
If you are like us, you love technology — especially tech that gives you quick bytes of helpful information. Want to feel happier? Check out this website: Action For Happiness for ideas, stories, and resources to help you create happiness for yourself and others. Try their free online coaching program: 10 Days of Happiness or check out their 10 Keys of Happiness guidebook — a 28-page guide [pdf] filled with inspiring quotes, and actions to help increase your well being. You can even download their mobile happiness app that will send you motivating messages and happiness tips and, connect you to a like-minded community on your Android or Apple device.
Connect with us! Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments. Where do you find happiness?