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A Wish and a Promise: Christmas 2020

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 Merry Christmas! I hope it really is, for you. “Merry” is kind of a single-use word; we basically never say it except in front of the word “Christmas.” What are we wishing each other? It’s not the same as ‘happy’, like the English or Spanish say, or ‘joyful,’ like the French say. ‘Merry’ is more of a mood; it’s that light-hearted, uplifted, all-is-well kind of feeling. It’s maybe shallower than happiness in a way, and much shallower than joy, but it’s so nice when you have it. Maybe this year we need merriment more than usual. That means conquering the gloom. Gloom can be heavy; but for most people nothing has more upward lifting power, against that heaviness, than Christmas. I’ve heard different conversations about people’s favorite Christmas songs, and Christmas movies, and opinions vary but there’s a little common ground. Every reasonable person agrees that The Muppet Christmas Carol is fantastic, and that Little Saint Nick is horrid. And you won’t find many people who don’t like