A family trip to Spain took me out of the Florida heat and into the chill of a more northern November. Luckily there were paellas and tapas, plus plenty of churros and chocolate and vino tinto to keep us warm. As we soaked in the art and history of the major cities, we watched as holiday lights were being strung across streets and throughout urban parks.
We departed just a few days before they were to be lit and surely now fill the evenings with wonder.
The trip reminded me that December is a month filled with lights, and the cool weather and decorations abroad put me in a holiday mood. So, I’m braced for the whirlwind of friends and family and all the maddening preparations and exhausting cleanup.
Bring it on.
I’m also ready to simply enjoy the lights: the spiral-wound palm trees along A1A, the twinkling Christmas trees in parks and windows and the flickering candles on friends’ menorahs.
Even the stars shining before dawn and the moon rising to illuminate the night bring about a meditative tranquility.
My hope is that as you partake in all of the December festivities, you too are able to stop and consider the calming influence of lights.
It’s this calm we may all need to survive the coming month.
So, as holiday chaos ramps up, my wish for everyone is to have a sparkling holiday season filled with peace and hope — and, of course, nights brimming with the magic of light.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and, from Spain, Feliz Navidad.
Mary Kate Leming,