Joy comes in the morning

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When you’re out and about today making your last-minute stops — standing in line with surly customers waiting to be rung out by tired clerks, snaking your way through stop-and-go traffic that moves like maple syrup in Vermont in the winter — take a deep breath and remember this: “Peace on earth, goodwill toward men.”

When the clock today seems to be advancing double-time toward whatever pre-Christmas celebration or activities you have on tap, and when all the errands, all the wrapping and all the cooking promises to fill more minutes than are left between now and Christmas morning, remember this: “Silent night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.”

When the kids are screaming in the back seat, bouncing off the doors and windows of the SUV in the throes of an extended sugar rush brought on by too many candy canes and Hershey Kisses, think about this: “Above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by.”

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When it looks like all the careful plans you’ve made for Christmas just might fall apart before your very eyes, even before Christmas actually arrives, breathe deeply and remember this: “God rest you merry, Gentlemen, let nothing you dismay…”

This can be one of the hardest days of the year to have peace, to sleep well, to be merry and to feel goodwill toward men. But those emotions and experiences should not be confined only to Christmas while we allow our baser natures to be unfettered on the day before the big day.

Take time today to breathe. Joy comes in the morning.