Goodbye, Christmas. Hello, New Year! I’m glad you made it!

EpiphanyGoodbye, Christmas 2013!  I’m going to miss you, but I’m glad I had you while I did.  Yesterday, on the last day of the Christmas season, Epiphany, I got to reflecting on all the joys of this season and why this year, in particular, was so special.

For one thing, we got to see the whole family, and that doesn’t happen often anymore.  Our daughter, back from her first semester in college, loaded up in the van with my freshman-in-high-school son, my Bringer-Of-Christmas wife, and me, and we all took the trek down to Oklahoma City and Arkansas.  It was a quick trip.  We left Princeton on December 23rd and pulled into Christmas Eve in OKC by early evening, and the time in the car together was everything I’d hoped it would be.  We talked and teased and laughed and got bored and listened to This American Life podcasts and watched the Doctor Who Christmas Special and ate way too much at McDonalds and were exhausted when we finally got home on January 1st.   It was perfect.

If your work has to do with Christmas, as mine did with my production of A Christmas Carol at The Media Theatre, the whole thing can get to be a bit much.  It never does for me, though .  Sure, I can sometimes get tired of the commercialism and the Lexus commercials where, apparently, there’s some world in which people live where they can afford to buy their spouse a brand new Lexus SUV, drive them to the magical, family Christmas tree farm, put the star on top of the already lighted tree and give them something from “Jared.”  But, in all these years, I’ve never lost my passion for what I know Christmas is most centrally about–The power of transformation in response to love and the promise that all things are continually being made new by the one who came.

This year was no exception and was made even more wonderful for me by having the opportunity to tell my favorite story for a living, take a wonderful road trip with the ones I love the most, hug all of my family members around the neck and look forward to all of the amazing possibilities for 2014.

So, thanks Christmas 2013.  You were pretty great!

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