Gifts to the world

From the Editor-

 

December 22, 2021



Santa Claus. What adult is not complicit at some time in holding on to the magic and, in a sense, the central falsehood of our secular celebrating of Santa Claus?

The most repeatedly published editorial in history is the 1897 New York Sun’s “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

The Sun’s editorial writer speaks for parents and romantics everywhere, across all time zones and ages, exclaiming “No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”

Santa, a grown up fairy tale, lives as an essential gift from adults to both children and their fellow adults.

What gift of essential truth can grownups, seeking truth beyond facts, give to adults as we enter our second coronavirus pandemic Christmas, a time when COVID-19 is objectively worse than a year ago? We began 2021 with the hope of vaccinating our way out of the pandemic. We will start 2022 wondering if vaccines that most of us have taken will be effective against the omicron variant. More, will the certain coronavirus mutations bubbling out of people’s lungs next year infect the vaccinated?

Christmas is a shared myth among Christians and Americans, an offering of hope to each other and ourselves that a babe born of peasant parents, found among barnyard animals, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger of hay is the hope of the world. Consider: angels spoke to shepherds and three wise men followed a star leading them to this child.

How can such a mystical, magical moment be true?

Ironically, the story the whole world needs today, Jew and gentile, Christian and atheist, peoples black, white, red, brown and yellow, is that the gift that holds a hope of saving all of us, every one, is a universal truth of staggering proportions: The coronavirus is deadly and it is here to stay. There is only one way out and it is through the eye – or the syringe – of a needle.

The best gift each one of us can give ourselves, our families, neighbors and communities is complete and total vaccination against the coronavirus.

The new year marks the start of the third year of this pandemic. One hundred years ago the 1918-1920 flu pandemic exhausted itself in its third year. Today, some of us are realizing the coronavirus, like what is now called the common flu, will be among us the rest of our lives.

The end of the pandemic is out of most of our hands.

It depends on non-believers embracing a truth as essential as Santa Claus, as eternal as a baby born destined to be the hope of the world. It depends on others wishing for and sacrificing for our good health – and their own survival.

That is the gift – and the miracle – that will change the future for each of us and all of us.

 

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