Monday, December 22, 2014

Peace and Joy.

Do you ever read something and realize it's exactly what you've been wanting to say? Emily's post last week was precisely what I've been thinking the last couple weeks. Her words, not mine:
This time of year is about joy and cheer and merry and bright. There is so much to celebrate, so many delicious smells and cherished traditions, festive parties and happy moments. It is the most wonderful time of the year. 
But the holidays also magnify heartache.
The loss of loved ones. Broken marriages. Sickness. Financial struggles. Unexpected hardships. Unrealized dreams. Fears coming true.
These things happen all year long, but it sure seems they pile up during the holidays. Heaps of sadness, heartbreak, struggle, loss come pouring down during this time of year when we should be singing merrily.
I don’t mean to be a downer. I just know there is a lot of pain underneath our glittery sequins – sometimes hidden masterfully, other times oozing out in the least expected moments.
You are not alone.
I mean, right? She nailed it. You can read her full post here.

This past week, I've watched my family come together after a sudden death in our extended family. I jokingly told my mother that we do funerals right in our family. And it's true. Because all it really means is that you are there for each other, no matter what. You hug each other a little longer, pitch in to bring meals, and generally thank God for each new day together.

Last year, I poured my heart out a bit in this post. And since the sentiments are still true, I thought I'd share some of those thoughts here again:

Christmas waves a magic wand over this world,
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.
-- Norman Vincent Peale

I am and will forever be a Christmas person. This time of the year is always so magical. Quiet snowfalls, twinkling lights, crackling fires. 

Despite the festiveness of the holiday season, I find myself extra emotional around this time each year. I can't help but think of those for whom Christmastime brings feelings of loss or disappointment. The joyful carols echo empty and haunting. January is willed to arrive quicker.

We have been blessed with a roof over our heads and food in the belly. We each have a job we enjoy most days. [Note: This is completely different this year. I love my new job and feel so terribly blessed to be where I am now.] And we truly have the best group of friends, near and far, that anyone could ask for.

But I am well aware that we are so lucky and blessed beyond belief.

Christmas is a light in a dark world. For those who's light grows dim this season, I wish you heart peace. Although the light is weak I hope your spark does not go out completely.

For those who's light shines brightly, I wish you strength to share your light with others. Take a moment to make spirits bright.

Be merry and bright this Christmas. Enjoy your precious time with family and friends. And keep the faith always.

With hope,


  1. Great timing on this post in the Presley house this year, Al. Thanks for being you...

    1. Thanks, Em! Wishing you and Clay a very Merry Christmas!

  2. Your post (and Emily's) reflects exactly what I've been feeling this last month. We lost a dear family member at the end of December as well; reading this was so sad and lovely at the same time. Thanks for this.
    Happy New Year to you - and only the best ahead.


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