The miracles we celebrate during this holiday season remind us that we can overcome the greatest tests with hope, faith, and each other. Hanukkah reminds us that there is light in the darkness, that we have and will face hard things and remain steadfast; Christmas that long-held promises are realized, and hope – light – is with us in the world; and Kwanzaa that unity is key to our resilience, particularly in the most difficult of times.
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many families and laid bare the inequities and challenges we face. Many of us have suffered, many mourn the loss of loved ones, and many are frustrated. And yet, many of us continue daily to take steps to protect our community, serve those most vulnerable, and rebuild our businesses.
And this year, though we are called to celebrate differently, our holidays again remind us that hope sustains us. That miracles happen. That we are not alone, despite gathering from afar or celebrating in new ways. We hope; we know we will get through this; and we act, together.
Yesterday morning, I met with Capitol High School students leading the Kindness Project. They asked me where I’d seen kindness and hope in our community. I see it in their actions to remind health care professionals that we are grateful. I see it in the simple and humble act of masking, recognizing the impact we have on each other and the importance of protecting those whose community we share. I see it in residents asking how they can help, because they feel blessed and know others need support to weather these challenging times.
I see the miracles of this season on display as Boiseans support families less fortunate than they; when we stand against displays and actions of hate, as vaccines are shipped and we watch with wonder the videos of our health care providers receiving theirs.
The holidays ground us. They remind us of who we are, of the importance of our family and community, and the shared values that guide us.
To each of you, I wish the happiest of holidays. And, as we celebrate, may the teachings, our celebrations, and the hope and light of this season carry us forward, resolved to come together for each other and a happy and healthy new year.