The lights have dimmed. The music faded. The aromas have drifted away from warm cinnamons and gingerbreads. The laundry continues to pile and schedules slow-back to their usual pre-holiday chaos.

The decorations are packed away as the routine of careers resume their pace. When it’s all said and done, did we gain everything we hoped from the past month of festivities? 

Did we run to parties and celebrations and programs with a desire aching to be filled by something more? Did the warm hugs of family and friends and pretty packages filled with presents quench the need for our fulfillment? Did fancy clothes and wish lists give us all our hearts could ever desire?

What if there’s more? What if the holidays are more than extra curricular’s that we must fit into our already overflowing calendars? When do we pause and breathe and take in the starry night sky and wonder? What is the purpose of all of this?

At the end of December, I often ask: Do I find myself filled with cookies and candies and carols of old? Or is there more. Am I filled with the love that exists for all mankind. Am I able to speak with the tongues of angels to those I encounter along every way? Have I left every person with a greater presence of joy and hope and perhaps a smile upon their face? 

Of each intricate detail that December holds, what did we most do to leave our neighbors with a simpler meaning of peace and hope for whatever the coming year might hold…A message of love for all the earth to carry as the world begins preparations to reset on New Year’s Eve. 

As December ends…let us walk out of our past as we enter into the future together, all the while, knowing that we put our best effort into each person and every step forward that we must take. 

We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.     George Bernard Shaw