Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Resolutions, Grand Plans and Good Intentions–Oh My!

Ends of years seem to be a time for assessing the past and making plans for the future. Many of us take the opportunity to decide whether to do more of the same or change gears altogether.

Often it’s a little of both.

Making resolutions seems to be a requirement but how often do the best intended resolutions fall at the first hurdle.

Grand plans are all good — until we let them turn into burdens we are only too glad to abandon. And that in turn turns its wicked head into guilt that we didn’t keep a promise we had made to ourselves.

I think our foremothers and forefathers had a better idea for the best use of this time of year. In very ancient times, the Romans (and people of many other civilizations) gathered together and celebrated life and the many blessings of having survived the year.

In Celtic societies, bonfires kept the long nights of winter at bay. In more recent times, fires were transformed into lights on trees and now, thousands of lights on houses.

This evening, as I gathered with friends, we traveled through row upon row of houses lit from front gate to chimney top with festive lights, reminiscent of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. When I was small, my family drove to the other side of the city to see the Christmas trees and holiday lights decorating the homes of San Francisco’s wealthiest residents.

To me, this was a gift of sharing the joyous season. Our tree was not as grand but the meaning was the same. The sense that, as a community, we shared this season as a time of merriment and hope.

Velesé Vánoce. 聖誕節快樂 Nadolig Llawen. מערי ניטל

Շնորհավոր Սուրբ Ծնունդ. Buon Natale. 메리 크리스마스 Joyeux Noël.

Wesołych Świąt. Feliz Navidad. メリークリスマス С Рождеством.

Merry Christmas to all!


  1. I love Christmas traditions; both those of nations and those made by families. For us, we burn a Yankee Candle called Christmas Eve and remember family members who are joining us from Heaven.

    Merry Christmas to you Leigh, and many sales and royalties in 2015!!

  2. Thank you, Kathye and Merry Christmas. We have Spruce and Spice as our seasonal scents. No tree but some of our past trees have been legendary! All the best for your upcoming year.

  3. Merry Christmas to you, too, Leigh. For me, and I think for a lot of people, the holiday season is a combination of looking back (most of the time with gratitude) and looking forward with hope.

  4. Hi Leigh--
    It is nice seeing homes, streets and businesses decked out with lights. We used to live in a neighborhood where everyone put up a tree outside on the front lawn as well as inside. Hundreds of families from other towns or other neighborhoods piled in cars to drive through this neighborhood to see the festival of lights.