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January 7, 2023

Seasons may change, but they don’t have to end.

As I wrapped up a less than stellar week, I was compelled to sit back and bathe in simplicity. I longed for nothing more than to soak in its peace and quiet, allowing the stress of life to dissipate – if only for a short time.

Ah, the joys of adulting when we find ourselves nostalgic, recalling the years when we wanted nothing more than to grow-up, not fully grasping the breadth of responsibility that comes along with that.

Christmas is now behind us, the new year is in full swing, and I am savoring the final days of a home, and heart, filled with decorations. Holly surrounds us, the smell of balsam wafts through the air. Stockings are hung and decorative packaging from gifts given with love and care sit quietly under the tree.

Snow is gently falling, covering the ground, an ideal winter evening. There is such a sense of calm and tranquility, warmth and coziness. One could actually visualize those sugarplum fairies if their imagination is to take flight!

Yes, seasons change, whether we speak to the seasons marked by the calendar – winter, spring, summer, and fall – or the seasons of our hearts, and lives. I believe I’m sliding comfortably into the autumn of my life, though my spirit is certainly in summer!

But tonight, the time is just right for lighting the Christmas tree, basking in its beauty, while acknowledging the fact that this season has drawn to a close, and we have swapped out ‘seasons greetings’ for the ‘seasons ending.’

I believe one thing is for certain. Seasons may change, but they don’t have to end. As the carefully selected quote on my Christmas card read: “Peace on earth will come to stay, if we live Christmas every day.” – Helen Steiner Rice. Thank you, Ms. Rice. Shutterfly capped my word count and I wasn’t able to credit you, breaking one of my cardinal rules.

No matter what religion you practice, or even if you’re agnostic, or atheist – live Christmas every day.

For Christians, Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ and by no means do I underestimate the importance, or meaning. But I do recognize the many facets of Christmas – including peace, joy, happiness, and generosity – that apply to every race, religion, and gender.

These are the gifts of Christmas, the gifts that anyone, and everyone, should embrace and celebrate all year long.

People are happier, lighter, kinder. There are more smiles, hope, and dreams. And you know what? Santa does exist.

As children, we stopped believing in the reality of Santa – yet as adults, many of us mature enough to realize that the concept of Santa is alive and well, and within us all.

The Christmas season may have come to an end, but it’s up to us to keep it close in heart every day.

Let the spirit of the season spread like wildfire in 2023 and come November, may we collectively celebrate the impact of our kindness, generosity, and selflessness. Let us revel in the fact that we did, indeed, live Christmas every day.

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Erin Murphy  |  Contribution: 165,925