I wonder if there was one or two other folks traveling with the magi across the desert towards Bethlehem. Various depictions show three solitary souls on camel-back gliding across the sand towards a distant star. There is actually a lot of debate about how many there were, who they were, where they came from and how long it actually took. Still, at its most basic level, there was a star that they set their sights on, and off they went.
With 2013 drawing to a close, we each reflect on our respective pursuits and wanderings. While there is not a star guiding us anywhere (unless you happen to be involved in maritime navigation), we do have the basic principle of "be kind to one another" that sits on the horizon. Christmas is a time to set aside your own struggles and worries and think about being better to one another. A kind word to a coworker. A shoulder to lean on. Volunteering. Coffee with a friend going through a hard time. Helping a stranger and expecting nothing in return. These are the kinds of things that make our homes, communities, countries and world a little better.
It is easy to forget that basic principle. We live in a cynical world that often expects us to be just as cynical. Rapid-paced news and commentary bombard us, Buzzfeed links bait us, and Facebook often infuriates us. But Christmas, the stillness of an evening filled with the hope and joy for which a weary world yearns, is a chance to renew ourselves.
My simple wish -- as it is every year -- is that may you find the peace, love and joy of the season. Happy holidays to you and yours!