Dear Wordplayers, Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas. It has always been far and away my favorite holiday. For me, it has always been the holiday of gratitude, even more than Thanksgiving. Surrounded by loved ones, nurtured by traditions, and sandwiched between the glories and disappointments of the year that is past and the hopes and challenges of the year to come—it is a potent moment.

For me, this past year was both incredibly busy and incredibly rewarding. It is a year that is closing out with a return to some of its more difficult challenges, in the midst of which this Christmas holiday is a bright spot of joy and a grounding reminder of my own priorities and everything I am most thankful for.

I am being reminded that this is the dance of life. Here on the cusp of the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice, looking out over barren cornfields and frost-burned prairie, nipped by the wind while huddled in the depths of hood and scarf, I am reminded of the beauty and the necessity of this dance—winter and summer, cold and hot, dark and light, moon and sun, sadness and joy. One cannot exist without the other. Life does not exist without one or the other.

In this year when the world has seemed to spin on faster and faster and faster for all of us, when so many uncertainties have faced us and challenged us—I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful to be here and to get to experience it all, to stretch my nervous system to the limits of its capacity for both pleasure and pain, knowing I will be stretched again. That is life, and my heart bursts for the infinite beauty of it all.

I hope in this season, on this day, that as you look out onto the horizon of the solstice and see the world begin to turn once more into the next phase of its cycle, that you are surrounded by all the things that bless you most. If you are reading this, then you are one of those blessings in my life. Thank you for seeing the old year out with me. I look forward to ringing in the new one—in all its glorious complexity—with you as well.

Merry Christmas!

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