Let the Festivities Begin

It is Christmas Day and the snow is falling. The world looks like a Bing Crosby song with waist-high drifts and little peeks of sunlight coming through to illuminate each tired flake. Presents spill out from under the tree, my coffee is brewing, and it is just Henry the dachshund and I awake to enjoy the solitude before everyone else wakes up and the real fun starts.

I remember all my past Christmas', especially those of childhood of waking up to find my own little mountain of gifts under the tree that hadn't been there upon going to bed the night before. I believed in Santa, and still do in some form, as something magical can never quite be taken away from any child's heart. My favorite Christmas was the year I came downstairs to find, alongside each of our wrapped presents, a bowl for each of us--and until they broke--were well used and well loved for many a year. Funny that such a seemingly mundane gift should stick in my memory but it does. Perhaps because I knew my mother had bought it, and the thought of her placing such love and care into our presents touched me deeply.

Christmas, or any holiday, is about the Spirit which carries through every person; every child. It is the glow of shared ritual; the traditions which tell us every year has a meaning: to forget the struggles of the past and look forward to new opportunities, new chances that yes, might bring more sorrow, but what joy has ever been bought without pain? The holiday season is a time to reflect on all the blessings, and to nurture those that can provide beyond their station: to be kind, to bring happiness, to find humor instead of hatred, to forgive.

So, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. And to quote from my grandfather's ancient issue of Washington Irving's The Sketch Book:

Lo, now is come our joyful'st feast!
Let every man be jolly,
Each roome with yvie leaves is drest,
And every post with holly.
Now all our neighbors' chimneys smoke,
And Christmas blocks are burning;
Their ovens they with bak't meats choke,
And all their spits are turning.
Without the door let sorrow lie,
And if, for cold, it hap to die,
Wee'l bury it in a Christmas pye,
And evermore be merry.

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