This year has been a test of faith. We have watched many struggle and lose so much in 2020.
Loss of life. Loss of jobs. Loss of school. Loss of community. Loss of freedom. Loss of loved ones. Loss of normalcy. Loss of opportunities. Loss of milestone events. Loss of financial security. Loss of decency. Loss of friends in the political division.
Loss. Loss. Loss.
Yes, much has been lost in 2020 due to this ongoing pandemic. That combined with the deeply polarizing presidential election and ongoing uncertainties following the Nov. 3rd vote has resulted in some incredibly stressful, highly emotional days.
And just like the Grinch who wanted to steal Christmas, it often feels like politicians and elected officials stealing our joy and peace in 2020.
(Don’t even get me started on the measles $600 stimulus checks while special interest groups get rich from the pork-lined bill Congress just passed.)
I tune into press conferences each day, and watch politicians butt heads with citizens about mandates, lockdowns, masks, restrictions, business closures, bailouts, stimulus money and more — it’s a wakeup call that citizens must be engaged and in constant contact with leadership to ensure our great country doesn’t get off course, even in a crisis situation.
Now back to the Grinch. We know that in the classic story, the Grinch wanted to take away the joy of Christmas and demoralize the citizens of Whoville as he stole their presents, decorations, food and other holiday traditions.
Yet, on the morning of Christmas when the Whos of Whoville woke up to discover their materialistic items for the holiday had been stolen, how did they react? Did they cry, shout or burn down the town? No. They stood tall together, holding hands in the public square, and they sang with joy as they celebrated Christmas even as darkness attempted to overshadow the town.
As Americans, we must do the same. The Grinch, whoever that is in your mind (and I realize the answer may differ depending on who you ask), is attempting to steal your joy, to take away the special moments of your holiday season and to make you feel hopeless, scared, isolated and alone.
Fear not, my friends. The Grinch did not succeed in stealing Christmas, and he won’t be successful in stealing the future of this beautiful country that we call home. We must be a light in a dark world. We must sing loudly for all to hear. We must spread Christmas cheer far and wide. We must never cower to those who benefit from our fear.
For myself and my family, we will celebrate Christmas with great gusto this year. It may look a little bit different than normal, but even if some of our favorite traditions have canceled or changed, our hearts remain completely focused on the true reason for this season.
I will close this Christmas blog post with an excerpt from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Merry Christmas to my fellow ranching Whos in country Whoville! May peace, joy and great blessings fill your hearts and your stockings this year!
“And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.
“But this sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!
“Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing without any presents at all!
"He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
“And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. ‘How could it be so?
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!’
“He puzzled and puzzled till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
“Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!”
Merry Christmas from my ranch to yours! May you find countless blessings even during a year of incredible hardships.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.