It seems almost unreal that the holiday season is upon us again. Sometimes we forget to reflect on what Thanksgiving and Christmas really mean because it’s so easy to get caught up in checking off our long list of things to do. But there is no doubt that the festivity of special holidays creates an expectancy within us that likens to the hope Mary must have felt, waiting for her firstborn son to arrive. Eating a Thanksgiving meal fit for a king, hearing just one Christmas song, or seeing the newly hung wreaths around town are enough to evoke buried emotions that may have lain conveniently dormant during the Spring and Summer seasons. For some of us, these burgeoning emotions are happy ones. Our children or grandchildren will be visiting us for the holidays and we look forward to the holiday buzz that will fill our homes. But for others, the holiday season may accent the pain we feel from the recent loss of a loved one, or that standing rift between a close friend. Thanksgiving and Christmas are times that we traditionally reflect on successful stories of pilgrimage or starlit stories of Jesus’ birth. But at the same time, we carry memories of our past while trying to resolve our futures–in light of all that is taking place around us.