The holiday is coming from in the house.

In the heat of summer (in this northern hemisphere), the holiday season seems so far away. Now, as I type, Christmas Eve arrives within the hour.

It’s that time when we often look back and look forward. What did we accomplish? What did we lose? What will we change? What is to come?

For many of us here in the United States, it is cold, very cold, which tends to keep us inside, burrowing, or if going out, bundled up, covered, moving quickly. It’s a time of parties and gift giving and visiting family. It’s a time of darkness and isolation. It’s a time of shopping and piling up stuff. Or it’s a time of high tension when paying the rent is the miracle required.

These are challenging times. And by these times I mean starting from the first signs of life on this bizarre, wondrous, and terrifying planet. Life is weird. Life, by the looks of it, shouldn’t even be. Have you seen the other planets in our neighborhood? Life? Not on a one. So far, nowhere but here. Which makes us the weird house on the street. Very, very weird.

Have you seen some of these fish? Or these birds? Or these critters?

Not that humans are in any position to throw stones. We write poetry. We start wars.

We create holidays that bring joy and spark arguments over coffee cups. It’s hard for all of us to get along in our little planetary house even though we know damn well we can’t actually move out. This is it. It would be nice if we didn’t set fire to it.

Contemplating the scope of the universe and our tiny blue dot moving in space upsets some people. Fair enough. We are ridiculous and we are the only known humans in a universe of a trillion-plus planets. Us! You and me, somehow together in this moment in this weird house. So we’re miraculous too.

Whatever this season means to you, whatever you’re going through, I wish you happiness and comfort, a light in the dark.

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