“Merry Christmas Everyone!”

A-Charlie-Brown-Christmas-image

Merry Christmas Everyone!  This Christmas Hank, Marty and I will once again descend upon my sister Terry in Schenectady.  After opening presents at home, we will travel down state to celebrate with her, my two wonderful nieces, my fantasic nephew-in-law, and my precious grand niece.  I just love this time of year when I can say Merry Christmas to all, Happy Holidays to you.  Happy Kwanza, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Birthday!  

What a wonderful thing it is to celebrate, and I am so blessed to have family and friends to enjoy the season with.  I feel the warmth of my son Hank and his excitement to open presents.  I feel my own excitement for Christmas morning, and how the big day appears in such a simple and joyous way.  My brother John will be with us, and our friend Chrissy, and we’ll drink Wassail made with organic cider, pineapple juice, and the essential oils of clove, cinnamon bark and tangerine.  And then Marty, Hank and I will hit the highway for more family celebration.

I understand that family isn’t the greatest thing for everyone, and I have had moments with my own family that needed special care on my part to navigate through.  But I believe that we can find all sorts of  connections when we look for them.  I think that they’re everywhere.  Our job is to be vulnerable and let them in.  

When I was in acting school at Carnegie-Mellon University, my classmates and I would all gather in a circle and sing “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” the way that the Peanuts gang did in the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  We’d intro with  the ‘loo-loos’ the way they did, taking that giant breath after each stanza, and it became a sort of Christmas anthem for us.  And the fact that we weren’t all Christians made it all the more special to me, because it didn’t matter what we were singing.  What mattered was that we were a bunch of hard working kids who had formed a special bond.  We treasured the excuse to just hold hands and sing.  We made a kind of family.  And there were the times my friend Portia or her Mom Shirley,  a feisty and terrific Jewish woman that we all loved desperately, made Easter dinner for those of us who couldn’t get home for that holiday.  Those Easter meals prepared by loving Jewish hands were some of the best I’ve ever had.

From the bottom of my heart I wish you joy, peace and love this Christmas, this beautiful Holiday Season.  Whatever your belief, it’s hard to argue love.  For me love is what this season is all about.  Jesus came, and I’ll paraphrase from the Bible, “…that we might have and enjoy our lives, and have it in abundance, and to the full, until it overflows.”  That’s a big gift, and one that I believe is there for all of us, no matter how we slice it.

 

 

 

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