Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

Christmas Day. The sky is blue, the wind is stilled. The temperature is just above freezing. We have opened the presents, walked the dog, and my brother has put the turkey in the oven. Some of the family is asleep in the other rooms, three of us are in the living room with the tree, and only one member of the family, my father, is permanently missing and missed. It is a good day. We are all happy, warm, and loved. Even missing my father, it is a good and blessed Christmas.

A day such as this is one through which I don’t have many troubles and am bothered by next to nothing. All morning long we opened presents, delighted one another with our generosity, and laughed. We ate a breakfast we made together, cleaned the kitchen together, and did what we could to help my brother prepare the dinner. Mostly we have spent time together with nothing to do but be together. There isn’t much more that we need and I am hungry to keep feeling this way.

I know that there can’t be peace such as this all the time, but it seems clear that there can be more of it and one simple way to make that happen is to shut off some of the darkness that keeps creeping into this life. I’m learning not to read the news or listen to it on the radio (God help those who watch it on TV). There is too much there that isn’t important to my life and too much that is just the bluster and anger of a fraction of a man who will be inaugurated all too soon. I don’t need this in my life.

I need family, love, music, art, writing, reading, and being out in the world. Twitter isn’t natural. Facebook isn’t a society. 24-hour news isn’t anything at all.

Right now my brother is out in the kitchen doing something with the turkey. My youngest girl is upstairs playing with Christmas toys. My oldest girl sits in a chair across from me listening to a video on her phone played through her headphones. My wife sleeps upstairs, my mother in the other room. And I am on the couch typing a few words. Nothing complicated. Nothing spectacular. Just the regular wonder of family life.
I’ve been writing about my job and how I don’t enjoy it as much as I would prefer. I’ve been thinking about politics and how much danger our country is now in. I’ve been worried about too many things.

I don’t expect to turn all that around, but I’m putting down this sketch of Christmas morning to remember how things ought to be and what I want to make happen in my world. I wish for peace and good will toward all. I wish for everyone to feel as loved and comforted as I do now. And I hope that I can work toward feeling this much more each day of the coming new year.

It is Christmas day and why shouldn’t every day have at least a little of this feeling too it? That’s right, there’s no good reason not to feel this. So let’s get to it.