blank'/> Mirth, Melancholy, and the Mundane: An Open Christmas Letter...

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Open Christmas Letter...

This is an open letter to all of those for whom Christmas has been tainted by the overwhelming social pressure to conform to forced generosity that seems to darken the act of giving with the rot of obligation.

It is to those for whom Christmas is borne from a religion that does not speak to the heart, though the story is a beautiful one of shining deeds of love and wisdom in a bygone time.

It is to those for whom days become irritatingly counted and shortened by the joyous displays that come to us when the days are still warm and the leaves are still dancing on late summer breezes.

It is for those who find the season the most painful time of the year for these reasons and for countless others.  My message is simple, but it comes from a heart that has learned to look past all of this to find the small joys and the deep warmth that can be all around us despite the cold days, the cold commercialism, the cold rush for the latest purchase, the cold bustle of days growing shorter even as the list of stresses grows longer.

Brush these disconnects aside and what is left...

Christmas is love; it is a time for family and warmth, for friends and laughter, for good cheer and good wishes.  I will forever believe that the holiday spirit can sink into even the bluest of hearts and so this is my Christmas message to those who need greater words of warmth, of happiness, of comfort, and of good wishes…

You have the power to touch lives; I know this because you have touched mine.  Each day I spend in this world is made brighter because you are a part of it.  The sun shines brighter, the snow is more beautiful, and the smiles come more willingly.  Friendship in all its myriad forms is one of the most powerful gifts we can both give and receive, and I am honored to call you one, even in passing, and I know I am not alone.  The love between you and your dearest friends is an amazing thing – two people who can be across the world, across the street, or across the room and share so much using whatever means are available and making them come alive.

Those who love you are never alone…for even when you are lost in a busy store or a thousand tasks, you are always in their hearts.  You are in thoughts and, for some, the arbitrary lines between family and friend are forever blurred.  Your friendship brings smiles to faces even though you may never see them.  The thought of you warms a heart, cheers a dark evening, brightens a snowy day.  Christmas, then, is 'just another reason' to remember all of those who have touched our lives and celebrate them.

In light of these thoughts, I will share my good wishes for you...

May the blue in your heart find red and green and the silver of a shining star. May your days be full of sunshine and blue skies…and should it snow, may a snowflake stay on the tip of your nose until you cannot help but smile.  May you feel the Christmas spirit you so richly deserve.  May you know that you are loved, that you have touched lives, and that each day you draw breath is cause for celebration.  Each day you spend on this earth is a day that brings someone – numerous someones – joy.  May this thought be what cuts through the darkness and may you know, now and always, that the darkness need never overwhelm your heart because you are, to me and countless others, a blessing.  You are the greatest gift.

Merry Christmas.

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