This is our first Christmas away from Maui, and no family here but just us four. Each Christmas seems to be different; each one with its own flavor. This one has its very own special feeling–one of being free of old traditions yet kind of anxious because they are not there.

Raised a Jehovah’s Witness, I did not celebrate the season until 1984, when I was literally thrown into the mix–three very traditional celebrations in two days with a huge family I was meeting for the first time.

In the years that followed that family became an integral part of my life. Watching the youngsters grow and become adults. The sad day our family lost 4 members in a plane crash, spending two days in anguish not knowing where they were or what had happened to them.

That day the dynamics of our family began to change–one brother of four gone and two children and a cousin lost in one fell swoop. I believe that losing a brother was probably the biggest test put on that family since the father had divorced their mother when they were young. It started a questioning in at least one brother that would lead to the disassembling of all he had put together.

As we go through these next years I feel certain that the roads we travel as a family will create their own special traditions. One I have wanted for a long, long time is to not have one. Some may gasp but I know there are lots of folks out there that feel the same way.

One friend said the Christmas season was always a time of contemplating theĀ “..’what if’s’, ‘if only’s’ of the mistakes I’ve made in my (nearly) 49 years. New Year however is all about the future…”

What is it Jesus said? [Not to worry about what you will wear, what you will eat, or where you will sleep. That pagans worry about that. The Father knows what we need.] Joyce Meyer was talking about belief the other day, how believing the promises of God is such an important part of having a good life. That without belief we are lost.

That is what keeps me strong, even in this sad season for me. Believing that all the things that have happened, skills added to my abilities, and people coming and going in my life are combining to create the next stage in this beautiful life.

Because as I have a habit of saying, life isn’t always fair but it is always good. Even at Christmas.

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