I heard someone describe a 1945 USO Christmas program on a carrier hundreds of miles off shore, two days before Pearl Harbor -- as the best Christmas ever. That got me to thinking about which Christmas I would describe as my best ever Christmas. I thought of one from childhood when my entire family had the flu. Somehow, we stumbled out of bed for gifts and eggnog, then it was back to bed for us. We laugh about that miserable day with almost fond recollection. I pictured the Christmas when my husband and I didn’t have the extra money to spend on a tree. We were stunned to return from an outing to be greeted with a tree, all trimmed out. Our neighbors had snuck in and placed a balsam fir, lights, decorations and yes, tinsel, in our living room. It was one of those rare moments that I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. However, as I thumb through my memories, this Christmas stands out from all the others as the Best Christmas Ever.
My family is gathered together; this alone is an occasion that I always celebrate. On whole, we’ve been bumped and bruised, untethered and even lost, this year. Yet, we all managed to find our way back to one another for this day. Beyond the holy religious symbolism of the day, Christmas is a sacred day for me.... probably because the shortest day of the year has given way to longer days. The Winter Solstice guarantees growing light with each day that our planet moves toward the Spring Solstice. With that waxing light, comes hope. It has been proven an immutable truth in my book of Things that are True that light follows darkness. Whatever the darkness, no matter how bleak the despair, Light cometh. And as my family gathers together today, I am brimming with hope for a new year with new beginnings; one in which we each find the light we need to illuminate our paths as we move confidently forward.