Saving graces

Christmas at Rockefeller Plaza by Rob Young By Rob Young from United Kingdom (Christmas @ Rockefeller Plaza) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Christmas at Rockefeller Plaza by Rob Young, United Kingdom
CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

“I can understand people simply fleeing the mountainous effort Christmas has become. But there are always a few saving graces and finally they make up for all the bother and distress.”May Sarton

If you’ve ever been to Rockefeller Center at Christmas, you know how magical it can be. Even if you don’t catch the truly spectacular Christmas extravaganza at the Radio City Music Hall, just seeing the dazzling tree and ice skaters is unforgettable.  For me, there’s a paradoxical feeling of peace there amid the frenetic pace of the city, as if the sheer beauty creates a world apart.

The great thing is that we need not travel to Manhattan to experience this sort of bliss.  Our home towns and living rooms and back yards also hold moments of enchantment.  For me, these have included hearing the excited voices of neighborhood children outside our windows, the glow of Christmas lights at night after all is quiet, and the cards, crossing the miles from faraway friends, that connect us to people we will always hold dear.

Whether this finds you rushing about finishing up last minute details, or basking in the delight of having nothing more to do but enjoy the holidays, I hope your day will be filled with these moments of grace that provide a fitting benediction to a year we have been blessed to survive.  May your days this week be merry and bright!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.


  1. Judy

    I always look forward to your posts, which are now on Wednesdays and Saturdays, even though my comments are often far apart. Your words, ” I hope your day will be filled with these moments of grace that provide a fitting benediction to a year we have been blessed to survive” have a special meaning to many of us in this 2nd year of pandemic. I have lost 4 friends due to covid and pray that there won’t be more. Especially concerning are those close family members and friends who still refuse the vaccine.

    Yet the joy of the Christmas season lifts my spirits every day in just the ways that you describe. Stew and I are adapting to the changes we’ve made due to the pandemic, and we’re making new efforts to show others how we love and care about them. Christmas has a more gentle, peaceful and very bright sparkle for us this year. We’re even more aware than usual of the blessings around us. We’re grateful for so many things, including the encouragement you always offer through your writings!

    • Judy, thank you so much for this comment, thoughtful as always. I find it very calming to read what you write. I’m so sorry you have lost so many to the pandemic. In that respect, I have been luckier, as no one close to me has succumbed to it (though many of us did have the original version) and only a few of my friends or family were hospitalized with it thus far. As a young mother I knew at least one of my generation who refused to allow her children to get the DPT or any other vaccines. I think it was required for attending public schools so I don’t remember what she did about that. But I couldn’t imagine being more fearful of a vaccination than of the disease itself. Some things have always been with us, I guess. I’m glad you and Stew are enjoying the season. I have enjoyed this season more than any I can remember since Jeff died — mostly because I’ve done very little, and the few things I did, I allowed myself to go as slowly as I wanted to go. You used the words “gentle” and “peaceful” and that’s exactly how growing older feels to me, on my best days. Surviving crisis after crisis has taught me to value a calm, uneventful day! Blessings to you both, Judy. You make my world a more beautiful place!

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