It’s been a very long month as I waited for this night

The stores started with their holiday cheer back somewhere around Halloween, Chuck and I began baking and decorating around Thanksgiving in time to host our neighbors open house, I’ve played ˜Secret Santa” for a woman living with breast cancer and her family, we along with our neighbors collected food for a food bank, I spent a morning loading trucks with holiday meals; we even took food to the animal shelter where we rescued our girls

All parts of the holiday I really enjoy

I could do without the hustle and bustle- and always avoid the malls, I witnessed a screaming match between a trash truck driver and a well dressed man in the biggest Mercedes SUV I’ve ever seen each accusing the other of being and a**hole (I think they were both right).

I’m still amazed at the lack of kindness people have for employees in stores and restaurants who are there trying to make enough money and carve out enough time to make a memorable holiday for their families too

I always look forward to tonight; when I set aside time to spend with my brother and sister and their families- people who I’ve always loved but not always liked

We reflect on what Christmas was like with Mom and Dad, the things that they taught us and the things that we miss

I spend Christmas Eve in the church I grew up in- a place my Jewish father went every Christmas Eve not because he was Christian, but because it was a place my mom had loved and it made him feel close to her and to all of us even when we were away from home

I love to take time in the stillness by the glow of the moon, or the flicker of a candle and reflect on how blessed I am- where my life was, the people who stood by me, believed in me and the amazing people who come into my life on a regular basis

Regardless of who you love, what you believe in, what you celebrate or where you are this holiday season

Take some quiet time tonight, slow down and reflect on the part of your life that isn’t about material things, shiny lights, your job or the hustle and bustle

I wish you all the best of Hearts, Health and Happiness

And to all a good night.