‘Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.’ So Norman Vincent Peale once wrote.
If we apply ourselves with vigour to it, as we rightly should, then may this be so.
In my own present field of work, this festive time that is now upon us is by far the most exhausting period of the year, not to mention possibly rather draining of joy when faced with many a rude and shallow behaviour (though I’ll readily admit to knowing the most cordial exchanges arising too).
I have discovered lately that, as much as many same-old recordings of such may possibly begin to grate, singing favourite songs of Yuletide cheer to myself throughout the day helps keep any rising ‘Grinch’ at bay; for as ‘A Christmas Carol’ lies as that classic perennial, I’d never wish to require ghostly visit to inspire me away from a Scrooge-like existence.
Personally, though this is and will remain my favourite time of year, upon this particular one, it undoubtedly will be, for me and my family, a rather difficult celebration without our dear beloved Mum. Not only is it our first, and most fresh against hopes, one without her, but as she also led us with such vigour in her embracing of all it encompasses, there will be such a greatness of love and joy that is missing in our lives, though not ever from our hearts. Undoubtedly the sweet tears of remembrance will certainly fall. But - we will also recall the abundance of the manifold gifts she bestowed, and feel eternally blessed because of them.
Of course, we will not be alone. I’m aware others will also know in their own individual journey similar sorrowful significance at this poignant and rich time, most oft marked when the strike of midnight hits upon the New Year –
My Heart is ravished with delight,
when thee I think upon;
All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight,
and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy Face,
so fills this, Heart of mine;
That Force nor Fate can me displease,
for Auld Lang Syne.
But let me not write here and now just of the sadness that may come to pass with some of us at this time; for to do so would be to ignore not only all we have known and been shown, but all we know and all we will yet still because of such.
No matter what our circumstance, despite what struggle and difficulty we face, we are blessed too. Very. For we must and surely do appreciate many a comfort, through a loved one, be they family we inherited or the extended we chose. I for one welcome this with such overwhelming gladness (when I get passed all the superfluous stress and down to the essence of this seasonal period) because I’ll KNOW mirth, merriment, the kindness of charity and the goodwill of humankind. I’m shown it continuously, and so I humbly commend it now.
I trust that you do also. To quote again ‘There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves.’
One of the oft-stated adages of life is that what we put out comes back, so to spread goodness to others is also to have it returned to us. So I truly say: LOVE JOY PEACE, and may this be with us all.
And THANK YOU.
A true and happy CHRISTMAS.