From the Editor

Defying the Grinch

A Christmas Letter From the Editor

By Murray Lewis

Photo: iStock/Andrey_Kuzmin.


However you and I spend Christmas this year, it’s probably safe to say that it will be a Christmas unlike any other in our lives, just as 2020 has been a year unlike any other.

Most of us will be happy to see the last of 2020, but as much as we wish it were otherwise, the end of the year won’t bring with it the end of the pandemic. That blight and all the changes it’s brought with it will be with us for some time to come, and barring a genuine miracle, it’s going to change Christmas for most of us. The question is, of course, how will it change things? And it feels very odd to admit that, even as the magical season approaches, I have no clear idea of the details.

Will I be able to gather with my family as we always have? Will I be making a list and checking it the usual dozens of times? Will I be rushing from store to store to store as I race to complete my traditional mad-dash Christmas shopping? Will I get to enjoy staying up late doing battle with wrapping paper, repurposed shoeboxes, scissors, and tape on the night before Christmas? Will Mass on Christmas Eve be limited to the current maximum of 25 worshippers or will we be able to come together to rejoice? Will I see my grandchildren? Or will the COVID Grinch steal Christmas? Whatever the answer to all those other questions, I know that the answer to the last is a defiant, No!

If you remember the story of the Grinch, you know that his making off with the Whos’ boxes, bags, and roast beast couldn’t stop Christmas from coming. “Somehow or other, it came just the same!” as Dr. Seuss’s narrator assures us. And so it will.

Christmas 2020 may be radically different, but it will be Christmas. If I have to do all my shopping online and have things sent all over North America, I’ll enjoy playing Santa as much as ever. And even if, as I rather suspect I will, I spend the special day alone, I know that I will feel the Christmas magic. I may not be able to be with my children and grandchildren and siblings and their families, but I’ll feel the connection to them that distance can never diminish. And we’ll connect by phone and perhaps even face to face on our computers, sharing memories as we always do and creating new memories as we tell tales of how things are different this year.

For a short time, I fretted about the holiday season and what it might—and might not—bring, but I’m looking forward to it, come what may. As always, I’ll listen to the lessons and carols from King’s College Cambridge, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, the Queen’s Christmas Message, and Handel’s Messiah, and, as always, I’ll celebrate the gift that is Christmas.

Photo: Laurence Labat.

And as for 2021, I’ve already made my New Year’s resolution: I’m going into next year full of faith and optimism.

I wish you all a very happy Christmas and holiday season, and a healthy and blessed new year.

Murray Lewis