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Krista, thank you for expressing well the thoughts and ideas I've been pondering. My "family" is now greatly diminished, due to my recent divorce and parents being deceased. This year, as Christmas drew near, I began to slowly anticipate making a few new traditions, perhaps hosting a small gathering of friends. And then came the news of the massacre at Sandy Hook. I felt as if reality's chains had yanked me up by the throat. I can't 'celebrate' Christmas this year. It seems insane to sing Jingle Bells, or to write 'Merry Christmas' on cards proclaiming peace - while families in Newtown are burying young children. I'm no longer sure what Christmas means. I resent the commercialism; I resent snarky comments about religion, faith and spiritual beliefs. I continue to be troubled by a general rudeness and uncaring in this country. I fear we have gone too far; we no longer really *hear* or *see* each other. Thankfully, I have learned in the last few years to 'stay in today', to do only what needs doing today, and to give the rest to God. The best I can do today is write a little bit, maybe go 1:1 with another. This year, I am one who desperately needs to give to myself. To first put peace back in my own heart. Thank you for inspiring me to own up to it.