It is Going to Be
a Wonderful Christmas
Barrington H. Brennen, December 17, 2020
day is just eight days away and it is going to be a
One thing for sure, no
government in the world can lock down Christmas. At least
they cannot lock down Christmas in our hearts. No emergency
orders have the power to obliterate the spirit of
This Christmas will be the first of its kind in one hundred
years. But it will be Christmas. We will wear masks,
practice physical distancing, avoid crowds, shy away from
traditional large family Christmas dinners, avoid having
shoulder-tight-packed church services and concerts, but we
will still have Christmas.
Ultimately, Christmas is a time and spirit for sharing and
giving. This year our giving and sharing will be different,
but what is most important, we will celebrate. The darkness
of COVID 19 will not dampen our spirits. In April this
year, at the beginning of the serious lockdown in our
country, I wrote an article entitled, “The Jasmine is Still
Sweet.” I reminded you that the Jasmine flower only
produces its sweetness at nights because it has to be dark
and cooler for the sweet aroma to be released. Similarly,
COVID19 is dark and cold. Darkness also means pain and
misery. It is only through the darkness and pain we can
truly see the beauty and smell the sweet aromas of love and
grace around us. This is the time of the year to truly
“see” and “smell” the beauty in spite of the darkness
(COVID19). Let us join in and be happy.
Observe our streets round about beautiful decorations,
public Christmas trees, the dangling ornaments and bells
from the stores and homes. They are already beaming the
joys of Christmas. The stores are busy, and the music is
cheering: “It’s Christmas time again.” So, lets join in
I congratulate the Government and civic leaders for pushing
through the most painful time in our modern history by
showing the lights of happiness. That is certainly one of
the tips we, as mental health professionals, tell our
clients. We tell them to celebrate the moment. Avoid
fretting over the situations over which we have no control.
Live one moment at a time. This is what we are doing as a
nation this month.
The pain is great but we must celebrate this Christmas just
like we always have. As I drive the streets and notice
the decorated homes, brightened shop window displays, the
ornamental lights on our streets, etc., my spirit is
lifted. There is hope for our country. We are a resilient
people. We will not let the pandemic drag us down. If
you only have a candle to celebrate with, still celebrate.
If you do not have money to purchase a gift to give to
someone, remember just being alive at this time is a great
TIPS FOR A WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS
Avoid having large family
gatherings that usually only get together once or twice
a year. There is a great risk that someone
in the group might spread the virus to others. I like
what the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in
the United States says on this point: “Indoor
gatherings, especially those with poor ventilation (for
example, small, enclosed spaces with no outside air),
pose more risk than outdoor gatherings.”
Have a video chat/meeting on
Christmas day. Do you realize that more
people can attend a video fun time than in person? In
addition, there is no risk of spreading the virus.
Do a drive-by hello.
While avoiding visiting and meeting in large groups, you
can still have a fun Christmas by driving around to
relatives and friends and give them a special Christmas
greeting from your car and even leave them a simple
Christmas treat. Believe or not, with the restrictions,
it might really cause some of us to visit more people
than before, although from a distance. That can really
bring moments of cheer and happiness.
Have an open-air sing-along.
Nothing is more special than singing or listening to
music. Some are able to cheer up the neighborhoods by
playing sweet Christmas music on the outside of their
Take a special treat, meal or other gift to an adult or
children’s nursing home.
Those who can, may choose to
purchase gift certificates and drop them off to friends
or relatives. This will avoid the extra
touching and worrying of spreading the virus.
Always wear masks, keep the
physical distance, and wash hands frequently.
If small gatherings are allowed by the emergency orders
during Christmas, these protocols reduce the risk of
further spreading of the virus. Remember the greater
the number of people in the group, the closer people
tend to be, and the higher the risk of infection.
Have a healthy diet.
This Christmas is different than all other past
Christmases. This time, because of the pandemic, we
should maintain strong immune systems. Thus, avoid the
large intake of sugary foods (ice cream, cakes, sodas,
etc.). They will certainly suppress the immune system.
This is one Christmas when parents can discover healthy,
delicious alternatives to all of those life-threatening
surgery stuff. Here’s what WebMD states: “Eating or
drinking too much sugar curbs immune system cells that
attack bacteria. This effect lasts for at least a few
hours after downing a couple of sugary drinks. Eat more
fruits and vegetables, which are rich in nutrients like
vitamins C and E, plus beta-carotene and zinc.”
Dear readers, let us view the restrictions during this
pandemic as an opportunity to grow and love more
meaningfully. Yes, this is going to be a wonderful
Christmas. Let’s enjoy it.
Barrington Brennen is a marriage and family therapist. Send
your comments or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or