A Christmas reminder

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There’s a rare beauty in this time of year that the other seasons just can’t imitate.  The stars twinkle a little brighter.  Falling snow makes nighttimes more hushed and sacred.  Greens are merrier and golds are warmer and the reds of holly berries and peppermint sticks are jollier than even the fiercest reds of autumn.  Snow-covered lawns become blank canvases for shimmering light creations.  We tie our families and loved ones closer than we do ribbons around gifts and bows on Christmas trees, like an extra layer of warmth against winter’s chill.  Spirits are brighter and laughter is louder and hugs are tighter.  It’s some kind of magic.

And it’s a shame that it only comes once a year.  Of course, many of us would happily forgo the stinging cold of winter, the slushy sidewalks, the salty film that clings to our cars and always comes back no matter how many times we go through the car wash.  But I’ve always felt that there’s more to the seasons than what we can see in the weather and the trees.  A mood accompanies them.

Christmas time?  It’s a big ol’ paradox.  It’s warmth in the presence of so, so much cold (at least where I’m from; the upper Midwest ain’t messing around with her winters).  It’s  sparkle and cheer when things outside seem dull.  It’s lightness and brightness when the days are short and the nights are long.  It warms our spirits and lifts our hearts in ways that the other seasons only wish they could.  It’s like those good things are all the more beautiful because they contrast so much with the cold dreariness outside.

And if snow didn’t melt and Christmas lights never burnt out and the scents of gingerbread and evergreen could be bottled up, I would capture Christmas in a pretty mason jar tied with gold ribbon and twine and give it to you in July.  Because it’s that dang beautiful and because it flies by too dang quickly.

So make sure you savor every little and big thing about this time of year.  Hug your family a little tighter.  Eat too many Christmas cookies and drink a little too much eggnog.  Sing carols.  String your house and lawn in too many lights.  Take the time to ooh and ahh over as many Christmas trees and light displays as you can.

Because it’ll all be gone in a few weeks.

Because you so deserve the joy and the warmth and the wonder that this season holds.  Every drop of it.

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