About a month ago, as I was scrolling through Yahoo! News, a headline caught my eye that read: This Year’s Rockefeller Christmas Tree Is Extremely 2020. If you did not see this story, I’ll briefly fill you in. When the new Christmas tree that was to be placed in downtown NYC was initially brought in a month or so ago, people were left unimpressed. They found this year’s Rockefeller tree very lacking in appearance. Some went as far as to say that it could give Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree a run for its money when it came to being the saddest Christmas tree. Soon, there were a variety of posts on social media in which people expressed how “on brand” the tree was for the year 2020.
After celebrating Thanksgiving, there were many other things that people could also say were “lacking.”
There was no Thanksgiving parade to go out and watch along the streets.
There was no sitting at the table with relatives you only see a few times of the year; likewise, there were no opportunities to hug each other right before launching into a long conversation in which you caught up on what was new in each other’s lives.
There was no following the tradition of going on a family shopping excursion that had you all waiting in line at an unreasonable hour in the morning in order to get the best Black Friday deals. (Maybe this was a blessing in disguise for some.)
Yes, when you look at Thanksgiving this year during a pandemic, like the Rockefeller Christmas tree, the holiday may have seemed pretty sparse when it came to what we could or could not do. Unfortunately, people are already looking toward Christmas with a similar bleak outlook.
While it is sad that we could not celebrate the holiday as we normally would, it is important that we not lose sight of what is most important, which is giving thanks for all of the many ways God is providing for us in this difficult time.
In this Advent, we must remember to keep our focus on the main thing that is to be celebrated: God sending his son as a baby who would grow up into a man that would die on the cross, thereby, providing gifts we will never lose no matter what we are facing in this time of uncertainty: forgiveness, eternal salvation, and God’s unconditional love.