When I write greeting cards around the holiday season I usually write just Happy Holidays for many reasons.
First, by saying Happy Holidays I am including all of the holidays that come at this time of year, which in my world of cultural upbringing include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.
Secondly, I have friends who are don't share the Christian religion as a common religious observation, so while a Christmas is good for all people regardless of their religion or beliefs, they may not necessarily agree with that inclusion.
Therefore in order to hit all bases I use Happy Holidays.
However, this doesn't negate my cherished feelings and beliefs about my own Christian faith, it expands it. I like the traditions of Christmas and the main thing I like about it is the giving, the peace, and the waiting for it. It is a time when people get together just to be together and celebrate friendships, and family.
This year of the Coronavirus pandemic is different than any other year in my lifetime. Add to that the passing of my Mother just leaves a huge hole at the center of it all. Mom made the Holidays for us in our family. Mom was Christmas and Thanksgiving, not so much New Years.
So, the sadness of not being able to get together this year with people you are close to is a real bummer.
For myself, I really miss being in Germany for the holidays with the Christmas Markets and all of the great musical events and festivities that go along with that. I miss my friends in Europe terribly and now it is going on 5 years since I have been there is really kind of a huge stake in my heart.
This year I am grateful that my father's health is much improved, but am sad that he can't be with his grandchildren and great grandson this year. Hopefully, he will have the vaccine soon so at least he can begin to get back to normal.
For me, I have been working very hard on getting Musiterania™ off the ground. I am learning a lot about what I don't know but am not learning it fast enough. I am very excited about it and the good it could do in the world, but I am coming to realize that obviously, I can't do it all on my own. I'm going to need help. I have worked all day practically every day on it, and it is my number one priority after all so this year the Holidays have taken a back seat to it all.
In the future, my goal is to get all of my Holiday stuff done before Thanksgiving, so that I get to everyone and that I myself can enjoy the Holidays. I also want to be able to go on a vacation during the holidays which will mean leaving on New Years Day and returning sometime in January. So, in Musiterania™ there will always be a break during January as I believe that everyone will want a "Time Out" to recover from the stress that musicians have during the holiday season.
The happiest moments for me is giving a gift or sending a greeting card for the Holidays. While it is nice to receive them, it doesn't give me near the joy that giving gives me.
Giving is really what gifts are all about. A Gift is what you have been given so that you can give it to others and this is not talking about money or possessions but more of a generosity of spirit that is tied in with a small token of love and gratitude.
This year has been void of parties, dancing, music making and general get togethering. Personally, my singular mission this past year was to try and get Dad back to being healthy again and to make sure he didn't get the virus.
Here is my take on the Coronavirus, Covid19 and the response to it in our society.
The response to this pandemic really focuses on the medical care system. Yes, not getting the virus is good, not spreading the virus so others don't get it is good, but really the most important factor is how it affects the hospitals and health care work that is so vital to millions across the globe. The other obvious consideration is the economic impact of the pandemic.
It is for the health care system and the economy that the prevention of the spread early on was so important. The United States reacted very poorly to this pandemic. The actions that should have been taken, and in places were taken, were ignored. Instead of getting ahead of it in the beginning the government dragged its feet and the ridiculous claims of personal liberty being put in danger made every attempt to do what was necessary not only increased the spread but also caused a lot of anger in society and ultimately increased the pressure on the health care systems, which at the end of the day means putting the lives of those working to save your life at risk.
If there is anything we as a society have to get back to is doing some of the difficult things, generally called sacrifice, for the well being of the common good.
So, at the end of 2020, I wish for the world a revival of the spirit of the common good above our own. Is it really too much to ask to do? Is it too much to require? Are the tasks unreasonable? No, they aren't.
I think that 2020 will be known as the year of the healthcare worker, whether it be the nurses, the doctors, the lab techs, the sanitation, the first responders, or people who work in elderly or handicapped care, they all deserve our deepest gratitude for the service they rendered to our lives this year.
My father had to go to the hospital 5 or 6 times this year. He was twice transported by ambulance to the emergency room. He had three procedures done and was able to do it because the hospital was not over run with Covid19 patients. So, it is likely that my father will not get the Coronavirus, not get Covid19, and be able to live life as much as a 90 year old can be expected to live from now on.
I leave 2020 sort of burnt out to be honest. Hopefully, I can get back to being a normal human being in 2021 and be able to get to Alaska to place a monument on my Grandmother's grave, and get to Germany to visit my friends again. On top to all of that I hope that I can get Musiterania™ off to a good start.
Looking forward I want to get to singing again, if it is even possible or worth it, and to practicing the piano and taking lessons again, I may also want to take guitar lessons as well. I want to get fit and be in nature more this year as well. So, there is a lot to do.
The crushing fact is that I will turn 61 in 2021 and that the clock is ticking. Although retirement is an attractive possibility I am not really attracted to it. It isn't really about work, per se, but rather about creating something that can benefit society for a long time and to have my life mean something. Maybe it is vanity, I don't know.
So, to all of those who might read this article, I wish you a great Holiday no matter when it comes in your life.