My long-time readers of the E-Photo Newsletter know that I often write about the holidays, even though what I usually suggest is that the same spirit should affect us year round. My Christmas is a bit of a strange one this year. My daughter couldn't come visit because she is working as an intern on several major French films and she will only have a couple of days off, so she will stay with her mother and go up to Brussels for the holiday. We Skyped earlier on this Christmas Eve, and it was sweet to see her lovely smile and exchange words of love and the season. I am very proud of her hard work, although I miss her.
Likewise my family's traditional time at my cousin's place here in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, is not operational this year, because he will have to go in for double-bypass surgery on January 8th. He and his partner are understandably opting for a quieter, more personal holiday season without the stress of dealing with about twenty raucous friends and family. But we miss them and hope my cousin's recovery is swift. He is like an older brother to me, so my thoughts are with him this holiday.
I've just come back from a Christmas Eve dinner with friends here, and was also graciously invited on Christmas day to another such meal, but declined because it was such a long trip out and back. Instead I will spend the rest of the Christmas holiday talking to friends by Skype or phone, and resting up a bit before having to prepare for the upcoming Classic Photographs Los Angeles show, which needs our shipping crates to go out in about 10 days or so. Ah, the exotic life of a photo dealer.
As we all know, the last few years have been ones with definite ups and downs. I would suggest to all my readers to keep as strong, loving, understanding and positive as you can, recognizing that everyone has difficulties in their lives that affect them. How we respond to others may be how we are judged on whatever cosmic scale measures our lives. Keep that in mind when you are in difficult and stressful situations.
Tonight I was with a group with lots of children. It is very magical to be with them. Their innocence, pure joy, sense of fun and loving nature make them a pleasure to spend time with. Wouldn't it be nice if all the "adults" that we know would have those same qualities? Think about it. Are we focused on the right things in our lives?
I wish each of you some of that joy, fun, magic and love this year. Don't be afraid to show and share it with others. The process of sharing is fascinating, because the more you share these qualities, the more there is to share. You never run out. I'm not particularly religious--at least in the organized sense, but maybe that was what the Christian parable of the loaves and fishes was really about: how sharing love, joy and fun always brings more back to you than you give. You can never run out.
So to all of you, I wish a happy, safe and warm holidays, and a fun and love-filled New Year!
In case you find yourself in the spirit of the holidays and would like to read a selection of some of our past holiday messages:
In Praise of Friends and Family, Issue #186
A Lesson For The Holidays, and The Rest of The Year: The Gift of Balancing The Scale, Issue #167
Holiday Greetings to All Our Clients and Newsletter Readers, Issue #138
A Holiday Message, Issue #99