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’Tis the season

This year, there’s a wonderful confluence of holidays here near the end of December. Christmas is just around the corner with the first night of Hanukkah coinciding with Christmas Eve on Saturday night and Kwanzaa starting on Monday.

In each of our communities, people are wrapping up their presents along with their holiday plans. Some of us are traveling elsewhere; others of us are getting our homes ready to welcome guests. Students at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney have headed home; schools have shut down for the winter break.

There’s no snow in the forecast … yet. Some are saying that could change by late next week, but the chance is pretty low. Even the temperatures are forecasted to be fairly mild for the week to come. For some, that’s a shame, for others, a relief.

As the hustle and bustle of these last days before the holidays wind down, we hope you’ll remember the various reasons for the season. Christians stop and reflect on what Jesus’ birth means to them and how to reflect his teachings in their everyday lives. Jews stop and reflect on the miracle of the oil lamp burning for eight nights and its meaning in rededicating the Second Temple. Those who celebrate Kwanzaa can look to the celebration’s seven principles to guide their lives.

And yes, there are those who follow no religion. Even they can seek renewal right now.

So, to everyone we say, “Happy Holidays,” “Merry Christmas,” “Happy Hanukkah” and a “Joyous Kwanzaa.”