I am alone this Christmas and pining just a bit—not because of any sentimentality attached to the day, but because people are getting together and I’m not there. Pining or pity? Christmas, the most recognized holiday of any calendar, the most celebrated, the most marketed, is for me, all about the gathering. There’s a party down the lane and I wasn’t invited, a party in Maryland that I will not make because I’m in Florida, a child celebrating the holidays with his in-laws. But it could be Thanksgiving, my grandson’s first birthday, any birthday, a wedding, a funeral—the gathering is the essence of it all—and Christmas is just another such gathering.
I will miss many gatherings, and I will attend gatherings and speak fondly of those who are missing. It is the way of our expanded and complicated world—and when I accept that, the pining, and the pity, lessen. Be peaceful, be thankful. There is joy in every single day, and joy in every single person. Merry Christmas, my friends.
photo credit: sadly unknown, a beautiful illustration