In many ways, 2020 has been the year from hell, hasn’t it?

I’ve been working from home since March 13 and my sense of physical isolation combined with multiple Zoom and Webex meetings each day has been exhausting and more than a bit disorienting. Staring into a ring light and video camera for hours isn’t a natural situation for a writer.

Prior to the COVID-19 disruption, I worked on the 18th floor of a high-rise building on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. I worked with nearly two thousand fellow associates at that location. Some of us would meet for breakfast, I’d go out for lunch and long walks along the water, we’d shake hands and we’d hug. Today, most of the windows of that building remain dark.

What’s helped me make it through this weird year of solitude is all of you. Interacting with you, sharing stories, and celebrating milestones—or now and then, just a simple poignant moment—has helped ground me. You have taken me out of my house and around the world by way of your stories, poems, holidays, memories, challenges, losses, and successes. Thank you.

I’m a big fan of Christmas and I love sharing music. But this year, I’m just not in the mood for The Little Drummer Boy—or the other standard Christmas Carols. Heading into 2021, I find this tune from the Doo Wop Project appropriate and promising.

Thanks for reading, thanks for your likes and comments and emails. I treasure each and every one of you. Here’s to a more joyful new year.

Now then, this tune’s for you.