Into every Islander’s life a little slush must fall, and don’t we know it. Today, even as we wish for the fluffy and decorative stuff that Bing sang about — and gobs of it, in time for Sunday — what we will get is, well, who can say. And that’s characteristic of this season, at least of the part of it which we struggle dazedly through on the way to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
The good and the bad, the wishes fulfilled and those shattered, the happy and the tragic, all are amplified by Christmas, all touch us somewhere, and the stunning tide of emotions carries us to the heart of Christmas.
That is where compassion, affection, gratitude, and hopefulness gleam. It is where we find we may redeem so many niggling, self-conscious, uncharitable, and hollow days that have preceded this one and let merry Christmas lift us and remind us of the better course and what happy easefulness can be.
Death has claimed some of the best of us, some of the cheeriest and most inspirational. Illness has flattened some of the good ones we depend on and sparked us to consider the straining, relentless tides that sweep away so many, and the good fortune we enjoy.
This is the poignant moment of the year. Leave aside the glitter and the shopping, the overworn imagery, and the disemboweled expressions that pass for greetings these days, Christmas makes its ancient magic felt by all who are susceptible. It descales us and exposes our lives to life itself.
Although, for most, this season especially brings existence to the boil, newspaper people live at the boil most of the time. Newspapers, by nature, are carried along daily in the full flood of human events: births, deaths, tragedies, triumphs, fires, floods, politics, arguments, crabbiness, euphoria. We are exposed to it all. It’s the job, and thanks to you, a terrific job to have.
So this is the moment, Christmas once more in the offing, to remember our good fortune and to wish all of you — readers, customers, newsmakers, neighbors, friends, critics — the merry, merry, merriest of Christmases.