Hi everyone, and welcome to my final blog post of 2021!
This period where the calendar year enters its last few months is also called “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”! That means it’s the time to prepare for the “holiday season” in North America, and other parts of the world. In our multicultural twenty-first century society, we acknowledge many of the cultural and religious observances that constitute the holiday period, not only Christmas. So this time also means that we get to party and celebrate for about three months! It’s one long, festive holiday season! Awesome! The holiday period includes about two months preceding December 25 and nearly one month following that day and encompasses many notable days. Among them: Canadian Thanksgiving, Mawlid, Halloween, All Saints/All Souls Days, Diwali, Remembrance Day, Advent, American Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Feast of the Immaculate Conception, December Solstice, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Eve and Day, Day After New Year’s Day (for my Quebecois friends), Epiphany, Orthodox Christmas Day, Orthodox New Year, Tu B’Shevat, and Groundhog Day. Just to name a few! Let’s not forget Chinese New Year in early February!
Besides all the cultural and religious celebrations, the world is also joyous about some measure of return to normalcy, post-global pandemic. We’re still masking up, social distancing, and washing our hands, but we’re back to shopping malls, movie theatres, larger gathering with friends and family, international travel! Therefore, thankfully, we’re also going to be seeing loved ones we have not been able to physically see in some time. It is such a relief, and a huge positive boost for our mental and emotional health! I, for one am so happy it is happening!
The tragedy of the pandemic, the people it affected, and those who were horribly lost will never be forgotten. For some of us, we have seen people dear to us pass, and may not feel like celebrating with others, or celebrating at all. My heart goes out to those who have experienced such loss, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Mental and emotional health is most important. If gathering strength from others helps you with your grief, then that’s great. If not attending certain functions helps you, that’s ok too. Everyone deals with these situations differently, and there is no right way to grieve. It all depends on the individual and what’s best for them.
Yet, I believe we all look forward, towards a more positive future, as humanity begins to heal, in mind, body, and spirit, socially and economically.
Accordingly, with restrictions easing up, Deb and I will flying be off to see my beloved Mum, Aunt, and other family members this holiday season, in sunny, beautiful Barbados! We’ve missed our loved ones so much! I can’t wait, as we have not seen our relatives down south since before the start of the pandemic! Extra cause to celebrate!
I want us to continue to have cause to celebrate! So, let’s also keep adhering to medical / scientific best practices to limit the spread of COVID-19. Let’s maintain washing our hands frequently, practicing social distancing where appropriate, and where possible, get fully vaccinated, if you are morally, and medically able to do so. In many cases, vaccination is a personal choice, and I respect those who are reticent to do it, however I do believe it is one of the surest means by which we can save lives, prevent serious illness, and get our lives back the way it was before we ever knew what COVID-19 was. The pandemic isn’t over yet, and we need to remain vigilant, so that we can keep ourselves, those we love, and our fellow humans safe, restore economic prosperity, and return to full privileges that we enjoyed before COVID-19 began.
All the best to everyone for a safe, happy, healthy holiday season, and a wonderful and prosperous 2022.
Here’s looking forward to the New Year, including the release of The Last of the Atalanteans!
Please feel free to comment on this and future blogs and I will be sure to get back to you. Chat soon!
P.L. Stuart's Blog