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24      T’was The Night

  A right jolly old elf, and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

Ask anyone. The night before has always been big — it always is. The intense wait for the day after which is Christmas Day. The anxiety of unwrapping the surprise or two. The excitement of revealing who this year’s Santa is.

Growing up in a household with various traditions did make a whole lot of difference. We never had a Holiday tree. We never had to put cookies and milk for Santa underneath the tree. We never had presents to open. We never had to go to Midnight Mass. Neither had we had a chance to hug and wish each family member season’s greeting.

There might not be common traditions in the family, but the spirit of the Holiday was always there. We loved each other as a family — we still do.

Last year my heart was disparaged, thinking of the war, the soldiers overseas, even the homeless man that I used to see nearby The Port Authority. I am no angel but it is disheartening to witness the same situation all over again this year. You might have visualized differently but things have not changed a tad bit. But they should not discourage all of us and deter from the basic intention of being a good person.

While waiting for the Midnight Mass live from the Vatican City, Rome, there were messages after messages from the soldiers from Iraq to their families back home in the States. There were also live chats. The message was clear and simple — we want them back, sound and safe.

The Holiday season brings back the memories. It also brings back people together, family together. Friends who had not talked for months, connected again. Relatives who had not kept in touch for a while, made those first calls to reach out. It unites the Holy Spirit among us.

Christmas might not be celebrated for everyone. Each of us has our own faith and tradition. Bottom line, it is the Holiday spirit should be rejoiced and discovered among us all over again. A simple joy that brings up a smile.

Happy Holidays to all!

“T’was the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.”

—A Visit From Saint Nicholas - Clement Clark Moore (1822)