Have a merry “little” Christmas

What does it mean to have a merry “little” Christmas? The holidays this year will be so much different than last year.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

When Judy Garland sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” in 1944, the world was at war. We know now that WWII would end the next year. But, at the time, Americans were reeling with wartime separations, hardships, misgivings about the future, and grief for the many who would not come home. For so many people, it was a time of uncertainty and fear. Many artists have sung the song and most have changed the lyrics to make it less gloomy. So, if you don’t remember hearing the original, it’s time for a listen.


Ask a WWII Veteran or their spouse about hardship

WWII killed 407,316 Americans and wounded 671,278 more. We expect COVID-19 deaths to reach more than 400,000 early in the new year. Imagine if WWII had been fought on American soil. The war we are facing now is not on remote shores. It’s next door and down the street. It occurs in our hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and our own homes. It’s happening to our families, our friends, and our neighbors.

Throw in a year of unbelievable political strife and racial tensions and you might have a pretty grim holiday in mind. But, we are not hopeless and we are not helpless. We learn more about the virus each day and vaccines have begun to become available. “Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow,” sang Judy.

Not the first time Americans had to mask up

When people complain about wearing a mask, I have to chuckle. My mother grew up in Western Kansas during the Dust Bowl. They wore masks all day, every day. Those weren’t the comfortable masks we have now. Anxious mothers wrapped strips of cloth around heads. Worried fathers moistened old kerchiefs. Walking to school on good days, they were greeted by the teacher. She had a bucket of water ready. As each child arrived, they removed their makeshift mask. Teacher rinsed it out in a bucket and helped them put the damp cloth back over their mouth and nose. Throughout the day, she would repeat the procedure. That was just 90 years ago.

This year has been hard. But, it’s one holiday out of a lifetime. One time to extend hope to our friends and family remotely. One time we need to isolate and take care of not just ourselves, but our neighbors and extended community. “Someday soon we all will be together, if the fates allow. Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow.”

I know that “faithful friends who are dear to us will be near to us once more.” The philosophy of hospice is to make the most of each and every moment. So, have yourself a merry little Christmas.

Be a part of the solution

Planning on a year-end gift? Charlie and Dottie Ray will match your gift to this year’s Golden Hour Campaign dollar- -for-dollar up to $20,000! Your donation will help us make the holidays bright for families right here in Kansas City.

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About Us

The mission of Kansas City Hospice & Palliative Care is to bring expert care, peace of mind, comfort, guidance, and hope to people who are affected by life-limiting illness or by grief. Our vision is that each person in our community is valued from life through death and each family is supported in their grief.

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