For me, Christmas has come to mean much much more than a religious celebration. It is a centerpoint in our culture for an entire winter holiday season that celebrates, during the shortest days of the year, the light within us all.
We are not blessed because of who we are, but by what we do. We are not good because of the happenstance of our birth, but rather because within us we find our goodness and express that through our deeds. We express the best of ourselves through our love and compassion and generosity.
Christimas is a time of giving. And in giving, we receive tenfold -- not in stuff, but in that magic energy: the milk of human kindness.
My biggest regret this year is that I cannot give more. I have received so much, and long to pay it back and pay it forward. My life is good now, with bad times behind me and the unknown awaiting my arrival in the future. I have my wonderful family, including an adorable niece who has stolen my heart, and some wonderful, dear friends. I have my health and a mind that's not inordinately muddled. I have high hopes for our future, and great ambitions to try and help make it just a little better.
There is so much to recommend in this world. It's really quite amazing how far we've come, from scrabbling around on the veldt to building great accomplishments of joint effort and creativity for the common good. And it's almost awe inspiring that, so far, we've not managed to destroy ourselves. We're a pretty short-sighted, craven, petty lot, we humans, when the going gets a little tough. We come together to do some amazing things, but we also bring upon ourselves such horrors.
And sometimes it seems we never learn.
We don't own this planet. Each of us is here for only a short stint (or, at best, one stint at a time). So on this day of celebration of peace and love, let us pass on our heartfelt wishes not only to our family, friends and neighbors, but also to those who've yet to walk on this earth. They are our heirs. The more we leave them, the richer we are.