As Christmas Day approaches, another year comes to a close. According to Forbes, it has become a tradition for wordsmiths to select a word that sums up the year. For 2020, publishers of Collins Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and the Oxford English Dictionary unveiled, “lockdown, pandemic, quarantine, doomscrolling, and coronavirus.”
I like the word that embodies Christmas. It’s hope. The holiday is more than ornaments, presents, gingerbread and Hallmark movies. It is an anchor during difficult times. Hope is the expectation of a positive outcome regardless of the challenges. In conventional terms, it’s a positive outlook. It is what motivates us to reach out to people and communities in need. It’s what tells us there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I recently saw a special on the events surrounding George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River in New Jersey on December 25, 1776. It reminded me how important it is to hold on to hope. Washington and 2,400 soldiers braved the freezing river and a severe winter storm that unleashed wind, snow, hail and sleet. The cloak of darkness that accompanied the nor’easter made it difficult for boatmen to see the opposite shore. Washington was already three hours behind schedule and debated whether or not to continue.
Poor roads and supply chain disruptions made sourcing basic supplies such as clothing, blankets and food next to impossible. Disease, hunger and exposure were the soldiers’ close companions. It took Washington more than 11 hours to cross the Delaware with artillery and horses on Christmas night. Once assembled on the Jersey shore, the men faced a 10-mile march to Trenton. It was there that Washington secured the Continental Army's first major military victory of the war. Without the determination, resiliency, and leadership exhibited by Washington and the intrepid spirit displayed by his men, the victory at Trenton would not have been possible.
The Cornish Christmas carol “The First Noel” dates back centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, William Sandys was concerned that the celebration of Christmas was diminishing, along with its message of hope. He published “Christmas Carols, Ancient and Modern” in 1833. The book marked the first time the lyrics of The First Noël appeared in print. The word “noel” can be traced to the Latin phrase "natalis dies Domini", meaning “the Lord's birthday.” The good news found in the lines of the carols revived the spirits of the people who sang them.
Here at AIMS Metrology, our employees and our customers are like family. We are committed to service, support and solutions that will help our customers thrive. So from our family to yours, we want to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.