Light in the Darkness
It’s been a while since I’ve written. Partly, from being busy and dealing with welcomed changes in our lives. Partly for wondering what I really want to continue writing about. Writing is one of those things you can’t put off and I plan to continue writing often in 2018.
But now we celebrate Advent- the waiting season. Christmas, that beautiful season of light shining in the darkness, is almost here. Christmas in Albany, NY has always been one of my favorite times to live here. Snow falls, the air is crisp, and there is evergreen beauty everywhere.
Highlights of Advent So Far
“Messiah” at All Saints Cathedral is especially gorgeous- the Choir of Men and Boys is always in fine form, and there are guest soloists from near and far. Next year, do go! Treat yourself and a friend to an evening of Handel.
I took my godchildren to see Charlie Brown Live at Proctors Theatre and it reminded me of how simple and true a story Charles Schulz wrote- how greed and materialism can get the better of us this season.
We visited Troy, NY for the Victorian Stroll, a charming event where people dress up, shops open up their doors with music and treats, and the street are filled with revelers. It’s a fun event- go early if you are crowd weary. Go to Troy Music Hall for an excellent program that lasts most of the day.
The Deeper Meaning of Christmas
I love shopping for gifts for friends and family. But the best part of the season is helping others, especially those who need a little extra help. Adopting families or children at Christmas, and helping people have a holiday of dignity and peace, is the most beautiful thing we can do.
If you are inclined, these are the organizations I recommend, and encourage you to learn more about.
Things Of My Very Own– a well-run organization that four people have told me about this past week alone.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region – children need mentors. Help with time or money.
Center for Disability Services – helps to empower those with disabilities and their families.
Any of our wonderful arts institutions: SPAC, The Palace, The Albany Institute of History and Art, and many others.
The Giving Heart
Giving expands the heart. As the year closes, and we see many of the natural disasters that have unfolded, I am reminded that there is need everyone; our local communities, in the nation at large, but also the world.
My faith teaches me that the birth of Christ heralded the beginning of healing for the world, and that we each have a part to play.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.
George Matthew Adams