December 4, 2017
Dear Family and Friends,
I’m sitting at my computer with Christmas music playing softly as I write. My Christmas playlist has been playing all evening. It was playing just now as I had a screaming match with Danin and then dragged her to her room, literally. I’m 39 years old now, but still not mature enough to use more discipline than a child…. :(
I was out of control. I immediately felt regret and disappointment and went to the freezer for some peppermint ice cream to self-medicate, and then I came into the office to clean. (Man this office is a mess.) As I was cleaning up the Christmas books scattered across the floor, I opened one called “O Christmas Three” and read the words of Leo Tolstoy, “Where love is, there God is also.” So true, Leo. So true. Sigh….
Last year I described how every year, I go wondering through December looking for Christmas, as they say. And man, I tell ya—it can be hard to find. I’m always searching for the magic that is Christmas—and trying my best to create it—but man, it can be hard. I feel like I’ve spent the last year thinking about it and have finally come to some conclusions. The magic of Christmas, for me, comes when there is love…and peace..in my home and in my family. As I’ve thought about it, all of the magical moments of my life can be characterized by the presence of love and peace—moments when everyone is laughing and smiling and having fun. They are moments of forgiveness and tolerance—when relationships are strong and steady and we are all enjoying being together. You know? So you add to one of those moments a spattering of chiming bells, sparkling lights, and holiday fragrances, and you’ve got yourself some Christmas magic—a simple recipe, but still so difficult to cook up sometimes.
Other than our daily failures (but continued efforts!) to create and preserve peace in our home, we continue to be blessed with the normal struggles of a normal family: learning to put on CLEAN underwear after a shower; learning to PUT ON underwear in the first place (insert eye-rolling emoji here); learning not to tease; learning not to react to teasing; learning to keep our mouths shut—you know, all the basics. We’ve got kids who are playing sports, wearing mascara (say wha??), singing, dancing and reading books. We’ve got kids who are healthy and fun. We’ve got all we could really want.
I really am so grateful for all I have. I’m especially grateful for the opportunity I continue to have to be loved and to feel intense love. It’s an incredible blessing to love someone so much you feel like your heart really could beat right out of your chest. I love that line from Les Mis that says “to love another person is to see the face of God.” Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy, man…smart guys..
Merry Christmas, everyone. May we all find it this year.