It is that wonderful time of year again when the holiday spirit fills our mind and heart, and gently moves us, for the moment, away from the hectic pace of our lives and the world we experience now. Yes, this year is different given the challenges impacting the world and our lives. Yet, despite this, may we choose to see and live beyond these temporary constraints and enjoy the spirit of this special time. Let us pause and step back for a moment to reflect on the meaning and spirit of the season. Let us remember the joys and happiness it brings that we may again share it with others, while also making it so very special and memorable for those celebrating it for the first time. May our mindset be strongly intentional on making this Holiday Season our best one yet for ourselves, our families and friends and those whom we touch and serve. May we all hear those beautiful words from the song, Believe, from the movie, The Polar Express, sung by Josh Groban: “Believe in what you feel inside, And give your dreams the wings to fly, You have everything you need If you just believe.” Yes, we have everything we need… if we just believe.
The world around us contributes gently to the joy of the season: stores are wonderfully decorated; holiday music streams from videos and iPhones; home decorations appear. Our world is transformed around us to one of festivity and joyful tranquility. It is a time of peace. As Norman Vincent Peale, minister and author, once said, it is as though the holiday season “waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.” Yes, it is a time of “joy to the world.”
Memories fill us. We remember the joys of our youth and the people who were and are integral parts of our lives and happiness. There is sadness in remembrance of those we loved who are no longer with us. This gentle memory of them, however, is our lasting gift to them, and theirs to us. It is our way of saying to them: “I love you forever and will never forget you… never.” We embrace those around us and share with each other a very special gift of love. Hamilton Wright Mabie, essayist, captured this wonderful spirit of the season: “Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”
Let us enjoy and take great learning from this magnificent and beautiful time. Let us all be embraced in this conspiracy of love. As Eva Logue writes, may you be as a candle which “makes no noise at all, but slowly gives itself away.” May this be your greatest gift to others and yourself – that in quiet reflection, you see with brilliant clarity the happiness and joy in the endless possibilities that life offers to which you will aspire.
May we pause in gratitude for all that we have, for what others have given us – our family, friends, those whom we serve, our God – and remember fervently that ours is the joy of giving, serving and caring. These are our greatest gifts. Let us join together every moment of our lives in a beautiful and magnificent “conspiracy of love.” Life is so very precious. Capture and embrace it with passion, joy, exuberance and love.
May you and yours have a joyous and beautiful Holiday Season, a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and may this New Year be the best yet – for you, your loved ones and the many people whom you touch and serve.
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!