Every major religion seems to have some sort of festival in the December-January time frame, and as far as I can determine, all of them are positive, upbeat, and “sharing” in nature. If you celebrate such a holiday at this time of year, best wishes to you and yours.
One of the best aspects of this time of year, for me, is the opportunity it affords me to stop, take a breath, look at the world around me (including all of the colorful strings of lights), and take stock of both my blessings and my whatever else (for it seems we never have one without the other).
These thoughts, then, comprise a brief litany of what I see as the good and bad in my slice of paradise: my community, my state, my country, and the world. If you think you might agree with me, read on and enjoy. If you think I have no concept of reality, you might want to move on to something else and just let this article fade into the ether (not the anesthetic, but the “rarified element” that once was believed to fill space).