I have emerged from the dark cave in which I have been living for a few months, sans internet, and I thought I would use the opportunity to give a special Merry Christmas (or whatever holiday you might be celebrating) to everyone who might be reading this.
Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. When I was a kid, Christmas Day was always bittersweet, because although it was the day I had most waited for all year long, I knew that on Christmas evening, I was a full year away from the next one. There are so many great Christmases in my past that kind of blend together into one long strand of great memories, like a string of pearls. And though when I was a kid it was about the presents each Christmas morning, I realized long ago that it's really about spending time with your family. And though the people who used to be here have come and gone (I still always half-expect my grandpa to walk through the door every year), they are always going to be a part of the lifelong Christmas experience.
The exciting thing is that I know that my Christmas tradition is only going to grow. In the last few years, we have added a lot of people to our extended family that have been part of the fun. And down the road we are only going to add more. I am thankful that I have my family here in Monroe county, and my extended family back home in Syracuse and elsewhere.
As much as I complain about how Christmas season starts way too early, and that I can't stand that there are really only maybe 20 Christmas songs (fine, Phelps, you convinced me there are more than just 8) that are played over and over, I am not a bah-humbug guy. I guess I just prefer to squeeze all my Christmas spirit into about 3 or 4 days.
So I will try to enjoy those I have this year. For those I won't get to see for Christmas this year, you are with me in my heart, and I hope that maybe down the road we will be able to find ways of sharing part of our Christmas together. Christmas isn't about gifts, it's about surrounding yourself with those whom you care about.
Even if you don't celebrate Christmas, celebrate the holiday, and each other.