"Happy Christmas" became one of my favorite Christmas songs the year John Lennon died, 30 years ago today.
I had lost my own father earlier that year and there was something so bittersweet in Lennon's voice and his lyrics that resonated with me. In that moment when John and Yoko whisper "Happy Christmas" to each other, for a split second, you understand why they were together in the first place.
"Happy Christmas," and "Starting Over" were on the radio constantly in tribute and I never got sick of them. When I think of those days, it is the candlelight vigils from John's millions of fans that stand out in my memory; light against the darkness of his murder. No doubt, the next 24 hours will be filled with radio remembrances before we go back to talking about Christmas sales and the stress of the holidays.
I've always been a bit of a romantic about Christmas. My husband and I started dating and got engaged during the Christmas season. There's something about those old time carols and Christmas concerts that I treasure. Unlike Valentine's Day, Christmas is a holiday I can truly appreciate. On New Year's Day, there is nothing better than opening a new calendar, or starting a new journal. I love that fresh start, the promise of the possible.
But the thing about the holidays that does not get enough attention are those times of quiet after all the festivity is done. Even the traditional Nativity scene is a moment of peace after the struggle of birth and the hardship of travel. You can almost believe that war is over and there is peace on Earth.
In modern times, it might be having the tree all to yourself after the kids have gone to bed, Christmas cookies awaiting Santa's arrival, a walk in the snowy woods, children playing with their toys without fighting, or animal tracks in the backyard snow. It could be your church, empty, but still decorated in celebration of the season. It's those moments when you can breathe deeply and realize that there's no more to be done; the party's over or you've wrapped your last gift.
This holiday, I'm inviting you to pay attention to those moments, appreciate them, document them and share them with others. It will be nice to see how each of us defines peace.
Here's how it works:
- During the week between Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, take at least one photo of a peaceful moment or scene. Post on your own blog. Include a link back to this post.
- Leave me a comment on this post or email a link to firstname.lastname@example.org . Please be sure to include a description of your photo to give us some background.
- On New Year's Day I will include all of the links I get in a roundup post with my own Peace on Earth photo. Hopefully, a tour of them will be a wonderful, calming experience for many.