I slept decently well last night. I woke once or twice, and was up far too early, but I’m sufficiently well-rested to get through the work day. My coffee tastes good. It’s hot. The morning has been fairly routine, although the after-taste of less pleasant qualities of the weekend linger in my recollection; they are not important, and will fade over time, as I contemplate the wonderful moments I spent with my partner, with friends, and in my own company.

The winter holiday season is near. It begins with Thanksgiving, and ends on the other side of the new year. It brings with it weeks of celebrating, cooking, laughing, gift giving, anecdote sharing, taste-testing, coffees with visiting travelers, shopping, crafting, and the beauty of the festive and lavish, the warm and sentimental, and the precious and loved. It is, without question, my favorite ‘time of year’ every bit as much as autumn is my favorite season.

Thinking ahead. Daydreaming becomes planning.

Thinking ahead. Daydreaming becomes planning.

There can be so much artifice in the holidays. It’s easy to make the leap from the flash and fun of artificial greenery with twinkly lights, to putting on ‘a holiday face’ behind which we hide our real selves, and real intentions; I see people do it a lot. It’s a shame, really; we are each so spectacularly who we are. Worthy of consideration, worthy of love, worthy of being appreciated – as we each are. That’s not to say, of course, that we don’t also each have the potential to bring more than a reasonable quantity of nastiness or emotional weaponry to any event we attend, and certainly I am not suggesting I find positive value in rudeness, pettiness, meanness, callousness or a lack of consideration when it turns up on someone’s behavior (not even my own!). What I’m saying is that at our best, when we are making good choices, and being the best of who we have to offer ourselves and the world, we have so much cause to face the world wearing our own face, our own smile, with our own joys and sorrows, honest and naked. Even though I don’t hang freshly cut boughs of pine along my bannister rail each holiday season, preferring some lovely manufacturer frippery, I recognize the value of what is genuine and authentic in the season, and in my fellow travelers.

Today is a good day to contemplate a heartfelt simple holiday. Today is a good day to cherish what is real, and meaningful, in my experience. Today is a good day to be authentically, genuinely, this being who I am right now; no one else can do this one, as well as I can, myself. Today is a good day to find new recipes for old favorites. Today is a good day to reconnect with an old friend – or reread a favorite book. Today is a good day to value who I am right now. Today is a good day to choose associates with great care, selecting for those qualities of life and love that enrich my experience, and selecting travelers on the journey who understand the value of a good holiday. Today is a good day to change the world.