It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Twinkling lights adorn doorways, hedges and limbs of trees, offering poignant emissions of light against a dark night sky. The words “hope”, “giving”, and “love” have come to be part of cultural catchphrases for the season. Many claim we’ve lost sight of the “true reason for the season”. We’re bombarded with party invitations and charitable pleas; we stress over finding the perfect gifts and creating the perfect cookies.
Amidst all of the holiday hustle and bustle, I enjoy this time of beauty. People increasingly radiate goodness, extending greetings, assistance and compassion to a stranger in need. Snow gently blankets the ground, offering a scintillating, magical land to be traversed while wrapped tightly in scarves, mittens and warm wool coats. It is a season of eager anticipation and of beauty, both in man and in Creation.
This season seems to provide me with a sense of clarity, an annual period to reflect, adjust and prepare. On this first of December, I pulled out an old favorite mixed cd that I entitled, “my december”, inspired by various artists who have used the word “December” to mean more than the final month of the calendar year. December, in these contexts, denotes a time of remorse, loss, longing, and desire for escape. Clearly this isn’t a cd to be listened to if you’re in the mood to dance around. As I made my way to work this morning, listening to some of these songs, I found myself thankful to be joyful in this season. Last year was darker. It was harder to find hope. My heart aches for those who are finding themselves in a melancholy december this year. In need of a little more pep on this Monday morning, I switched to some up-beat Christmas music. Good ol’ Bing and Nat King serenaded me the rest of the way.
Today marks the day when everyone becomes a fan of my counting crows and claims “a long december” for their ballad. It’s a good one…one of Adam’s finest. Maybe this year will be better than the last. For me, it already is. And that’s all I really want for Christmas.
“drove up to hillside manor sometime after 2 a.m. and talked a little while about the year. I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, makes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her. And it’s been a long december and there’s reason to believe, maybe this year will be better than the last. I can’t remember all the times I tried to tell myself to hold on to these moments as they pass.”