We often find comfort in the symbols of the holiday. A Christmas tree evokes a certain feeling, whether that is the nostalgia of years past or great anticipation for the time to come. Driving through a neighborhood filled with lights and decorations takes me back to a time when I would sit full-faced in the window of a car, filled with a wonderment that seems so rare in the everyday experience.

I like those moments. It is as if the holiday season is giving you a warm smile, and the brief elation erases any other feelings of doubt, angst and trouble.

The older I get, the more I have struggled to be sure to find those moments of peace and stillness. The year has been one of turmoil, filled with success and setbacks. We again reach the time of the year to reflect on each of those and count our blessings.

The Christmas story itself is also of stillness, happiness and the reflection on the struggles that brought them to that moment. It is hard to allow yourself a moment to pause and appreciate the blessings of the year.

We struggle with frustration and anxiety, envy and misunderstanding. But where those come to bear, we also find kindness and charity, forgiveness and empathy. In a weary world, an unconditional love for a fellow human-being is a very powerful thing. We celebrate in the company of friends and strangers as an outward expression of that basic feeling.

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas!