As we gather with family and friends this holiday season, conversations will inevitably shift to the economy and politics—and for good cause.
The cost of living the past year rose at the fastest clip since 1982—nearly 40 years ago. Wages failed to keep up, resulting in most families earning less in real terms. Gifts for loved ones cost more this Christmas season—and in many instances, the supply chain bottlenecks mean some of those items may not even be on the shelves.
Political rancor hangs in the air, with bitter fights for our nation’s future occurring in school boards, universities, courtrooms, and Congress.
But this season of physical togetherness presents an opportunity to create memories, develop personal bonds, and simply enjoy the company of others in our own defiance of the forces seeking to drive us apart. This is an opportunity we will seize.
Most of us take for granted our holiday dinners and extravaganzas. Through these traditions, we create memories, develop personal bonds, and simply enjoy the company of others.
This fosters healthy, happy life. And it requires a commitment of time and money. They are actions. So in order to have them, we must choose to have them.
But these are the things that bureaucrats refuse to acknowledge when they tell us not to gather together and to stay home. They replace (intentionally or not) the opportunity to celebrate and be joyful, with a dark cloud of fear and anxiety. But we see a better way.
We must not miss the true purpose of this season.
So much of this season revolves around family and tradition. What do you hope to fondly recall from this upcoming week with loved ones?
For us, it’s hours playing Risk, visiting the sledding hill if it’s a snowy Christmas, watching movie classics, going to church, and reading to the nieces and nephews. Believe us: Our passion for all things politics, the Federal Reserve, inflation and the budget make for spirited podcast discussion. But this season, we are reminded of the responsibility to strengthen the ties that bind us to each other and fully embrace the spirit of the joyful season.
Rather than yield to the temptation to readily engage in the debates that divide us and the problems that beset us, let us give our best to those we love by listening and encouraging them in their personal struggles, adventures, dreams, laughter, and even sorrow. Cable news shows, Twitter, and talk show hosts—and even Tim’s podcast—only overpower the laughter and reflection of the upcoming week if we permit them to.
For many, 2021 was a tough year. But with all the uncertainty, loud voices, and negativity surrounding it, we will choose to embrace the hope and the joy this season provides.
Joel’s mother says she’s “doubtful her oldest son will adhere to this proposal,” and Tim’s mother frequently laments that Tim always finds himself in the midst of controversy.
Here’s to proving them wrong—at least for half this visit! From our homes to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
This piece originally appeared in 1945 on 12/24/21