The Holidays

In a commentary on CBS, actor and writer Ben Stein said that his family really got into Christmas even though they are Jewish.  How could one not like a holiday with all those beautiful trees and lights; a celebration all about peace and love?  The Holidays are a wonderful time of year!  Peace and love are a focus and we can truly be  grateful that the vast majority of people across the planet live in peace (if not love) every day of the year. If they did not, the entire world would be in chaos.  However, we do recognize during this season, that some people do not possess what they need and many reach out and help.  They write a check to pay off a lay-a-way, drop coins in the kettles, volunteer in a soup kitchen, buy a toy for an unknown child or deliver some homemade cookies to a neighbor.  Despite all of the commercialism, the Holidays are of time of peace, hope, love and giving.  And of course, the season is one of great spiritual meaning for Christians around the globe!

One of the highlights for me during the Holidays is getting together with friends and family.  For us it begins with the party we host each year for our monthly dinner group.  They are a diverse group with passion for the Appalachian Trail in common; the kind of friends you've known for years, ones you can depend on in good times and in bad. Checking out Christmas lights with Gary and Laurie, caroling at Bill and Laurie's and Emily and David's, dinner with Dick and Kathy; activities fast becoming traditions.  Gretchen and I are very blessed that our daughters and their families can visit during the Holidays!  The house is filled with the sights, sounds and smells of the season; presents under the tree and stockings hung by the hearth, carols emanating from the snow globe, kids in the house, and the smells of turkey and dressing wafting through the air.  Maggie is beautiful in her Christmas outfit, and Kelley and Seth are doing a great job as new parents.  Henry is in constant motion, opening presents like a champ and singing Jingle Bells provided we are not asking him to sing.  Katie and David are expecting in July and with luck we will be holding baby Alexander next year as we did Maggie this year.  Maggie will join Henry motoring around the house and add her voice to the sounds of the season.  Our time together is short but so delightful.   We are blessed!  As the younger generations depart, Gretchen and I settle into our easy chairs by the fire exhausted, reflecting on the great time we had!  Unfortunately, Sally came down with the flu last week and was unable to join us over the holiday.  We all missed her and hope she is feeling better soon!

And how about that murder mystery? Who did it? Was it Desiree or Captain Mal? Or some other nefarious person?
Throughout the year, may peace and love be with you and yours!

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