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Well my friends. Here we are. The holiday season. Like it or not, bells are ringing, lights are swinging and we’re in deep for another month or so. Is it effervescent magic? Self-reflective harmony? Renewal of an elusive childhood? Stress? Staggering conformity? Outlandish attention to the majority? Like I said, no matter who you are, here we are. And at least we’re here together. So about that…

Hosting and being hosted. I actually can’t do either very well. Funny isn’t it, that the one side of the coin isn’t necessarily relieved by the other? Meaning I’m not sure which I prefer since they both seem to require a considerable amount of grace and effort. Will they notice the Trader Joe containers in the trash? Is it overly obvious that I’d actually prefer hiding in the kitchen being sure the dishes get properly done and put away? Did he open the wine I brought? Can I get my side dish plate back? Did I make enough conversation with her brother’s, wife’s, cousin?! Hmmm.

Reality check: I don’t think these are the thoughts I am meant to be having as we hunker down for celebrations. Are you having them? Because this is not why you the homeowner just spent ten months with your largest asset under construction while you busted your (other) ass-et at the office. Nope. Not even close. It’s not why you, the architect, spent your last five Friday nights playing around with 3D models on your computer or why you, the trade partner, went back to the same house four times to attend to the HVAC temperature balance or to perfect the slightest imperfection of the millwork install.

My dear friends, you did these things because you have a heart bigger than your body. Because you have people you love and who love you. Because to stay sane and human and to make it to the precipice of 2019 you needed to attend to what mattered most in the vibrant months leading up to now. You called on patience and charm and character and integrity. You muscled in, ground down, and gritted your teeth. And now that you have? It’s time. You may breath. You may find silence enough to hear the thump of your own heartbeat, the whoosh of the snow in the wind, the air passing through the logs on the fire.

And you may host or get hosted with a happy knowing. The knowing that you have done all that you can to arrive fully at this deserving and festive end. The madness is actually over and the time for joy is right now. I saw this quote the other day by someone named Elizabeth David: there are people who take the heart out of you and there are people who put it back. I say go get your heart back. Sink your lips into the ones you love and may all be calm and bright for you as we slide into our next year of beautiful promises and wildest dreams. Happy New Year to you.

And all my love,

PS: I won’t tell a soul about the Trader Joe’s packaging…if you don’t.