The message is that this is the "most wonderful time of the year." In some homes this may be unequivocally true. For others the gatherings of family have proven disastrous in previous years.
The Christmas card I received yesterday proclaimed Peace on Earth and Good Will to All Men.
Through past experience I admit that I am only moderately capable of producing either. I accept the reality and relax. I forgive myself and my family for our individual oddities and annoyances. I become more skillful each year at picking the hype of Merry, Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas like lint off my shoulder.
Time to turn on the colored lights, turn off all others and rock slowly in the near dark. Breathe in Grace. Breathe out Peace.
Perhaps this year I can simply hope there is something here that doesn’t depend on me.