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Dec. 20th, 2016

Our annual family Christmas letter is about to go in the mail this afternoon.  If you are on our mailing list, it should be arriving within a few days.  If you aren't on our mailing list, here is the text of this year's letter:

The year is rapidly drawing to an end, the days are getting shorter, and the weather becoming colder. In the evening, the neighborhood transforms into a fantasyland of twinkling, colorful lights. Holiday music is being played in the stores and on the radio. The signs all point to the imminent arrival of the holiday season.

There probably no emotion more closely associated with the year-end holidays than Joy. We sing “Joy to the World”, and wish each other “Merry Christmas” and “Happy New Year”. The music and sounds of sleigh bells make us smile, and who doesn’t enjoy the smell of cookies baking? There is joy in gathering with family and friends to celebrate, sharing stories and food, exchanging gifts. And this joy is perhaps most obvious in the reactions of children when they wake up to see what presents wait for them under the tree.

While it would be hard to deny the role joy plays in the season, we sometimes overlook its power to heal. Isn’t this the lesson we learn from the Grinch? The Grinch, in his unhappiness, is deeply jealous of the Whos’ holiday joy. He does everything he can think of to steal their joy, but even when he has taken everything, the Whos remain joyful, singing together in the joy of the holiday.  In the end, this joy touches the Grinch, healing his unhappiness and allowing him to join the celebration.

There is no shortage of reasons why many people might not be inclined to say that this past year has been particularly joyful. You don’t have to look far to find people who are unhappy, angry, frustrated, or in pain. So many people are in need of the healing joy of the holidays. This year, our holiday wish to each and everyone of you is that the Joy of the holiday find a home in your hearts, and that we each make an effort to share that Joy with others, both during the holidays and throughout the year to come. May this Joy bring healing and peace to those who need it.

And in that spirit of joy, we wish every one of you a very Merry Christmas and an especially Happy New Year.  May the joy of the season bring comfort to you and your families, and may the New Year bring good fortune and many blessings to all.

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