As it should be, this week much of the media focus is on the terrible event in Newtown, Conn. We all grieve with and for the families of those killed, injured and in any way affected by the tragic carnage in that community.
This morning I read a comment from author Joan Chittister in which she said, "Maybe Christmas is really about learning to appreciate the basics of life for what they are: the arenas in which we learn to distinguish early what is really important in life from what are merely its frills."
I cannot tell you how many times this week I've heard someone say, "This week I'm holding my children [grandchildren, nieces, nephews or any beloved children in their lives] close and telling them often how much I love them." It's a natural reaction. And it's something we should do all the time.
Whom do you need to hold close this week? What do you need to appreciate that perhaps you've taken for granted? What basic in your life can you appreciate anew during this time?
And of what do you need to let go because it's really one of life's frills? Or even less than a frill?
All of these are good questions to ask ourselves anytime. But perhaps the juxtaposition of this season with the awful events in Connecticut makes this a good time in which to reflect on those questions and more.