Holiday Cheer

What are you up to for the holidays? Do you celebrate with big parties, or quietly?


My family is kind of private, so even with all of us here, it’s low key.

The family fondness for privacy really hit home this fall when I was on a writers’ retreat in Mexico. The cooks at the facility never stopped talking to each other. It was like cheery background music; and since my Spanish consists of about ten phrases like ‘thank you’ and ‘where is the bathroom,’ it went in one ear and out the other. Still, it was a revelation. Who has that much to say?


During that same retreat, we visited the home of one of our Mexican hosts. He and his wife designed their house with only two bedrooms, so visiting grandchildren could share sleeping quarters. “We’re not like Americans. We don’t like it when the bedroom doors are closed.” I cringed. Our bedroom doors are closed all the time.

But the holidays are not a time to second guess who you are, and how you live. Introvert or extrovert, talkative or quiet, love can grab hold of a heart just the same. Our celebrations, although muted, are big ones this year. We are healthy, and doing things we like to do. You can’t ask for much more.

Here are some nice things, from my house to yours:

1. Our son designs art and science projects for kids. Here is one of the customers (to see the clip, click on “Kiwi Crate” at the bottom):

2. Our daughter is getting ready to volunteer with the Peace Corps. Her placement: the home of bungie jumping.

Vanuatu, in French Polynesia. Some people have all the luck. Image source: Vidiani maps of the world

We are relieved that the bungie jumping, formally called land diving, is not recreational but for sacred purposes and only for guys.

3. A random but lovely story sent by a friend, about a woman in Detroit named Veronika Scott, who got yelled at by a homeless person, and then …

Whether your celebrations are big or small, or even if you’re not celebrating at all,
May the water always run under your bench.


May you always land between the spikes.


And may joy shine through, even when it’s cold.

Christmas Berries




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