This year, after a wonderful Thanksgiving spent with family, we have all decided to err on the side of caution and celebrate Christmas separately, in our own homes, instead of gathering as we always have, because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this has been a sacrifice, we think that this is the best decision for everyone, until it is safer to get together as a family. In making this sacrifice, we hope that those we love will stay healthy and safe and that we will be able to see them again soon, when hopefully we will have subdued the virus and the threat will be lessened.

On one hand, we miss our parents and siblings and wish that we could all celebrate together as usual; however, looking at the glass as half full, this quieter Christmas we are able to more clearly think about the real meaning of the season and spend time reflecting on that most significant event over 2,000 years ago which changed the world, the birth of Jesus. In the emptiness and solitude, we can remember that Joseph and Mary were alone that night in a cold stable, when the King of Kings came into the world. There was no festive gathering or jubilant party awaiting Him at His birth, but rather a solemn silence in simple surroundings.

Although this Christmas is different and less celebratory, it is no less filled with the peace and joy of the true meaning of the day. The highlight of Christmas for us will be Mass on Christmas Eve, when we remember and receive the greatest Gift, Jesus in the Eucharist, and give Him thanks and praise for all of the blessings we have received this year and throughout our lives. Like the Holy Family on that Silent Night, we are enjoying the peace and solitude of a quiet Christmas and remembering the real meaning for the decorations, the music, and the celebration.

Wishing you and your family blessings for a peaceful and holy Christmas!

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