Merry Christmas

We're thinking of you, and hoping you'll find some Christmas joy, even if it's tinged with sorrow.

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Well, 2021 isn't going to end the way many of us had hoped it might.

Thanks to the rise of the new COVID variant, our 26 year-old and his partner are stuck at their place for Christmas, thanks to a housemate testing positive a couple of days ago. It's a tough pill to swallow for all of us, but especially for his 8 year-old little brother.

Out of an abundance of caution, we also got tested yesterday, and at the time of writing we're still waiting for the results. We're hoping they're back before our planned Christmas lunch with our extended family tomorrow – otherwise it'll be a quiet Christmas for us, too.

And we're not alone. Many people will spend Christmas apart, who'd otherwise be with family and friends.

It's so very 2021.

And yet.

And yet, I can't help but reflect on how fortunate we are.

On the pandemic front, we live in a time when scientific discovery made identification of the virus possible. And when cutting edge science made a vaccine available in crazy-fast time, using brand-spanking-new technology. And when top-grade medical treatment reduced the severity and breadth of the harm.

When our governments were (generally) smart, willing and able enough to support what otherwise would have been a cratering economy. And when we (and previous generations) had voted to make healthcare both free and universal.

We live largely free of war and conflict. In one of the most prosperous countries on Earth. With access to sufficient healthy food, comfort and means of connection.

If we're going to live through a pandemic, doing it here, in Australia, and now, in 2021, is about as good as you could hope for.

I'm not going to talk about money, or stocks, or finance, today. I'll probably do a 2021 wrap-up another time.

Today is for the other stuff, that's more important. Today is about recognising that things haven't been ideal, but that we have a helluva lot to be thankful for.

It's also about remembering those who are going to do it tough, tomorrow. Those who'll be separated from family and friends, either because of COVID or myriad other reasons.

And it's about remembering those who'll have empty chairs at their tables; perhaps for the first time, or perhaps not. Many of us will be celebrating Christmas but also missing loved ones who are no longer with us.

We're thinking of you, and hoping you'll find some Christmas joy, even if it's tinged with sorrow. (And if you find yourself in a dark place, please talk to someone. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14.)

And every year, thousands and thousands of Australians will miss all or part of Christmas because they're serving you and me.

Many of our armed forces will be deployed away from home, tomorrow. Our hospitals will be full of doctors, nurses and support staff who will probably wear Santa hats, if COVID regulations allow, but will otherwise be doing what they do every day – and more over the last 22 months – taking care of us.

Our ambos will be treating our sick and injured, and getting them to hospital as quickly and safely as possible. Our fireys will be attending car accidents and house fires. Our coppers will be attending crime scenes, managing traffic, dealing with violence and generally keeping us from harm.

And our utility workers will be keeping the lights on and the water flowing; retail staff and hospitality staff will be keeping us supplied and fed; media staff will entertain and inform us; and many, many more will be serving us in other ways.

Thank you to all of you who are working tomorrow.

And a personal thank you, from me and on behalf of the entire Motley Fool team, for being with us throughout 2021.

We know there are a million other things you could be doing, and a thousand other places you could get your finance fix. That you spend some of your time with us is truly appreciated.

Whether you're a casual reader or a paying member, thank you. We appreciate and deeply value the trust you've placed, and continue to place, in us.

And, to conclude, I want to share the latest in our annual Christmas tradition – a Foolish Christmas Carol.

Yeah, it's a little corny. And if it's not your thing, that's cool. But it's a bit of fun, and we hope it gives you a smile.

From all of us, to all of you, and with all our love, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.


God Rest Ye Foolish, Gentlemen

God rest ye Foolish gentlemen
(All genders though, today)
Remember our good fortune
This coming Christmas Day
Then make good use of compound's pow'r
Don't you be led astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
(Time we'll employ)
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

In Australia, and globally
Our patience, this year worn
Remember that the good times come
The sun will rise each morn
So Murphy's Law or just bad luck
We won't give up in scorn
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
(Trading's not a toy)
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Fear not then, Foolish investor
Let nothing you affright
Though markets can be volatile
We think the future's bright
Just save, invest and stay the course
We think that path is right
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
(The fruits we'll enjoy)
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

God rest ye Foolish gentlemen
(All genders though, today)
We thank you for your trust and faith
We hope you'll hap'ly stay
We've done our best to see you through
And not lead you astray
Oh wishing you lots of Christmas joy
(From your Foolish envoy)
Oh wishing you lots of Christmas joy


Fool on (merrily)!

Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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