“We need a little Christmas right this very minute. Candles in the window, carols at the spinet. Yes, we need a little Christmas, right this very minute … For we need a little music, need a little laughter. Need a little singing ringing through the rafter. And we need a little snappy, happy ever after. We need a little Christmas now.”
These are not my words, but they are lyrics that burrowed deep into my eardrums this past week – like an itch that can’t be scratched. The song was made a popular Christmas Carol in 1966 when Jerry Herman’s musical “Mame” was performed on Broadway.
Prince Rupert is not Broadway. Far from it. However, we have many talented artists, actors and musicians — one of which was a victim of a recent tragedy. Many people don’t like to talk about loss, grief and the heaviness it makes us feel. But, as your local editor, when I sat down to type a Christmas editorial, I couldn’t ignore the elephant in the room of recent events, which has left a blanket of grief swaddling our community during this holiday season.
Many people revel in the holidays, celebrate with family and are excited by the boundless joy the festive season brings. I am a Christmas go-getter. I have decorations and lights up the day after Remembrance Day. Trees beware, we have a family tradition of cutting our own tree down the last weekend of November. But being part of the Prince Rupert community grief as well as my own, Yeah – not so much this year.
The tree wasn’t cut until December, and only at the insistence of my second boy child. It then sat in the garage for almost two weeks before we brought it into the house. It’s still naked.
I want to share love and joy in our city this season. I want peace for everyone. I want some twinkle and glitter and sparkly lights brightening up the dark for my neighbours. But, I also want to acknowledge the collective grief of our community and how many will be feeling sadness and loss.
I have spoken with many different professionals who have offered words of comfort and advice. The message is the same … It is OK to feel blue, sad and angry during this time. Grief and despair affect us all in different ways. But it is also OK to feel joy, listen to music, sing and get excited about the festivities all while remembering loved ones who have left us. I do not want to give guilt any room in my heart for emotions felt on both ends of the spectrum.
We at The Northern View wish you all our love and send you our best wishes. May you hear music, feel laughter, raise your voice in singing, and feel a snappy happy ever after. Feel a little Christmas – right now.
But it’s OK if you don’t.