There are as many traditions for Christmas as there are those who observe it. It is a time spent with loved ones, the sights and smells so familiar to Christmases past. It is the warmth and hope that comes from random acts of goodwill. It’s a reminder, too, of the enduring power that Christmas has in bringing out the best in the human spirit.

We have survived, endured the wars, the pandemic, struggles of an economic recovery in recent months and years. We’re recovering from divisive elections which have all have taken a toll on us. There remains an ache.

Maybe, if we allow, Christmas will let us reflect and restart our lives and dreams once again. To appreciate life, honor those who are no longer with us and fondly remember how they contributed to it. The new year and its challenges will come soon enough. This is a time for reacquainting with family and friends, faith and treasured traditions, and there’s no pleasure like adding to the memories.

If anything, this Christmas comes at a perfect moment for self-reflection, as we face a new chapter in our lives. A new chapter in this country and the world for that matter. Maybe we can heal and stop the ache.

Perhaps we can think of Christmas as a moment to take a break, to enjoy the company at home and to rekindle the feeling of those earlier years as a child when we looked at the packages sitting under the Christmas tree. The best of us is brought out in the spirit of giving, and in the goodwill we show our fellow man.

Christmas, an enduring holiday which is filled with joy and optimism, something to share and pass down to the next generation.

Merry Christmas to all.