Today’s Sign of Hope: A Demonstration of Glee


Photo by Andy Allen


I already noted that this Christmas has been unlike any Christmas I’ve ever experienced. One of the biggest changes was not hosting at my home in wintery New England. Instead, my husband, two of my children, and my brother have come to Florida to celebrate at my parents’ new home.

I will admit to feeling a bit unrooted by this.

Yes, I know, I am still with (most) of the people I love best in the world. We have feasted and feasted and feasted. We have played games, laughing uproariously. We’ve seen beautiful Christmas lights.

Still I’ve struggled. Then something absolutely astonishing happened.

After Christmas breakfast–outside, on the lanai–we went for a boat ride. As we left the canal and entered the bay, my brother spotted a dolphin. We watched it breach the water and then swim alongside the boat. So nifty.

Then suddenly, we were surrounded by dolphins. We had cruised into a pod of at least eight young ones. My Mama noted that they must have known that “they have the day off of school” and were out to play. They seemed to be racing one another. Before we knew it, they were leaping and diving and flipping, playing in the wake of our boat. None of us, not even my folks, had ever experienced anything like this. It was the very illustration of “glee.”

And in that moment, I knew that we would all be able to create new traditions, and find new joys in the season.

Happy Christmas!


Photo by Kristen Allen


My middle son called us this morning to wish his parents, baby brother, and grandparents a Merry Christmas. “There’s ice on the deck and frost on the ground. It’s 34 degrees and the dogs are grumpy about it.”   We were sitting poolside, drinking our first coffee of the morning at my parents’ new house while he was describing the scene back home.

It’s noon on Christmas. My mother has decorated THOROOUGHLY.  (This is a woman who understands the power of a good theme.) My brother should be here any minute. My daughter’s flight comes in tonight. I am looking forward to the week altogether.

It doesn’t look anything like any of the Christmases I’ve celebrated before, though. And that is unexpectedly more challenging for me than I expected it to be. It’s not bad, though. Just different.

What hasn’t changed is our love for one another, a good meal, and laughter. We have all of that in abundance here. And that is a beautiful thing.

However you are taking in this day, be blessed. Good will to all!