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When I was a child, it was all about decorations and presents.
Back then, in the days before Christmas, I sometimes would fall asleep on the couch beside the Christmas tree and its twinkling lights.
There I would dream of all the gift possibilities.
The truth is, I did not then nor have I ever gotten a Christmas present that knocked my socks off.
My parents seemed at a loss when choosing gifts for me.
The more interesting gifts I got — like the set to preserve anything in geometric acrylic molds or the rock polishing kit — were promptly taken over by my father.
Still, I love Christmas.
I like to think of it as a time of the softening of the heart — a time to reconnect with our humanity.
I take seriously the words about peace on Earth and good will to all mankind.
It’s true — I still try to seek out thoughtful gifts for those I choose to give to, but I don’t pin my holiday on the “perfect gift” for anyone. Me, I’d rather have no gift than something someone felt forced to give.
As I have aged, and especially after having to spend more than a few holidays away from the people I hold most dear, I’ve gotten my priorities straight.
This year, I will spend the holiday surrounded by family.
I will reach out to family, friends and maybe even a few strangers.
I will be thankful for good food, that I have a good job and that I live in a community filled with people who appreciate the little things in life.
I hope this Christmas gives you more than a few moments of peace — not just quiet time, but the kind of peace that fills your heart with comfort and satisfaction.
I hope your new year is filled with possibility — and maybe a few good gifts.