Looking for peace in the holidays of 2020

I find peace to be an overlooked Christmas theme.

When the heavenly hosts visited the shepherds to announce a Savior’s birth, they proclaimed, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

They wished peace to humans. Peace is ultimately what Christmas is about. God sent a Savior so we could live in peace, both internally and with others.

The year 2020 has left many of us yearning for peace in our lives.

We’ve had a pandemic and a contentious election.

School, work and shopping are a jumble. We’ve lost the usual methods of comfort, whether it’s a family gathering, church or a group of friends. The unknown has us at differing levels of anxiety.

On a personal level, I was injured days before the pandemic hit hard in the US, so I had to wait three months for surgery. That was a lot of knee pain as I was also recovering from some personal events.

I know many people have been through tragedy during this year. Others simply just don’t know what’s next and it’s causing problems.

Because of its place with Christmas, peace is a theme in Christmas music.

I think “Silent Night” is so popular because so many people always need at least a little peace. In 2020, they may need more.

In some cases, including "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear" and "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," the songs were written during the Civil War. Some enduring songs include the sad ones: “Blue Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” are prime examples.

It will be interesting to see what 2020 contributes to this list of Christmas songs.

In the meantime, peace is my Christmas wish for you. I hope 2021 brings you peace.

Library closed for holidays

All locations of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will be closed Thursday and Friday, Dec. 24-25, in observance of Christmas. Normal hours of operation will resume Saturday, Dec. 26.

The Library will be open until 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, and be closed all day Friday, Jan. 1, in observance of New Year’s Day. Normal hours of operation will resume Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021.

Many resources are available for free 24/7 at the libraries website, www.ebrpl.com

Visit area light exhibits

The annual Christmas lights in downtown Zachary is on from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the historical district along Virginia Street. Set your car radio to 105.9 FM to add music synchronized to the LED light show. The lights will be on through Jan. 3.

ZooLights — an evening mile-long trail through BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo featuring more than 50 illuminated display sculptures of animals and traditional holiday spectacles is open through Dec. 30 but closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Admission gates open at 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.; grounds close at 9 p.m. Additional ZooLights information at www.brzoo.org/events/special/zoolights/

Send news and events for the Zachary area to zachary@theadvocate.com by noon Friday or call (225) 388-0731.