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Keeping the Light This Holiday Season

December 24, 2020
John Hairston
John Hairston

There’s no doubt: This holiday season is different.

Many treasured traditions are on hold for the health and safety of everyone around us. Gatherings that just last year brought us together have given way to Zoom. Large parties and family feasts are, for now, limited, socially distanced, or simply canceled. Though mandated, masks make muffled greetings hard to hear and familiar faces even harder to recognize. Sadly, so many people are trying to make it through life-altering impacts and losses.

Then, there’s the light that’s so much a part of the season—the light that calms, inspires, and renews; the light that helps show us the way on the darkest nights and direst days; the light of faith, hope, and the human spirit. It’s different now, too.

It’s even stronger and brighter.

We see that light everywhere, from the glow of Christmas trees set before Thanksgiving and drive-through displays that delight to the brilliance of a rare Christmas Star in the winter solstice sky. We see that light in the tiny eyes of newborns waking with wonder about the world around them. It emanates from the faces of our children so adept at adapting in these difficult times and from the smiles and tears of parents and grandparents so glad to see us, even through protective glass. At day’s end, it lights our own thresholds when loved ones welcome us home with hugs and homemade meals.


Season of Light. Sprawling live oaks standing strong against 2020’s record storm season glow with holiday lights across the region, while Saturn and Jupiter align to create a Christmas Star in the winter solstice sky for the first time in 800 years.


That light radiates from the resolve and resilience of the people who call the Gulf South home, who come back from tough times even stronger and more determined. It shines constant among countless first responders, healthcare heroes, and essential workers who risk their own well-being to be there for people who need them. Fueled by core values at the cornerstone of our company, the light burns bright among 4,000 Hancock Whitney associates committed to serving and supporting clients and communities through whatever figurative and literal storms we face together.

Amid the chaos we’ve come to know as 2020, the light of common experience has brought us closer and illuminated what matters most.

So, in this season and through the coming year, may we all embrace the differences we’ve dealt with by letting the light shine on and though each of us in what we say, what we do, and how we care. Let’s hold in our hearts the light of people important to us, whether with us, away, or at rest. Let’s focus a promising light toward a new year filled with prospects of health, harmony, and prosperity.

Our Hancock Whitney family hopes the light of the season shines on you and yours for a merry, safe Christmas, happy and peaceful holidays, and a brighter, better year in 2021. May God bless you and those you love!