Christmas 2020 looked like it was shaping up into a bleak affair. The newspapers were swamped with letters from people mourning for past days when they were able to get together with their families to celebrate. The lockdown in Chile had taken its toll, and the pandemic, like the Grinch, seemed to have not only caused illness and death, but also stolen much of what makes Christmas outstanding. The closeness, the precious moments to enjoy the company of loved ones, would have to wait for better times, if ever. Smiles were scarce, cheerfulness was slim, and no one was immune to that. It seemed not much could be done in a pandemic Christmas. On top of it, we had just moved houses and were very busy settling in.

Due to the government’s prohibition on all gatherings of more than five people, we had to cancel our usual activities for children in churches, parks, and community centers. But, as they say, love finds a way and hope lightened a ray. A Christmas market was allowed a few blocks from where we live, so we put our masks on and went out to meet folks doing their holiday shopping and give them a message of hope and encouragement. Everyone we met received Christmas tracts.

Though many people were distressed at not being able to assemble in big family reunions, it was heartening to see how they made the most of the occasion and celebrated modestly. This helped bring home the simplicity of the Christmas story, causing us to reflect on the true meaning of Christmas and the Christ child born in a solitary stable. At the end of the day, it truly felt like we were collectively telling the Grinch to beat it!

Perhaps you can’t engage in your usual Christmas routines because of the lingering pandemic restrictions or your own particular circumstances. But take heart, God wants you to celebrate His Son’s birthday. He will make a way and show you how to, in spite of restrictions, distances, or limitations.