This is one of the most sensitive times of the year when most of us flash back to Christmas past and childhood memories both sweet and bitter sweet. We miss those who can’t be there and remember things from childhood that seem to morph into interpretations embellished over time. I can still remember how tall my dresser was and that I couldn’t reach the top where the nail polish was. I remember trying to see through the wrapping paper to guess what was hidden beneath. I miss so many people who have left my life and can never spend Christmas with me again–or birthdays or just a cup of coffee. We all have a treasure of memories that come flooding back over this time of year. I can still remember getting a fresh orange in my stocking and fresh whole walnuts. This really dates me, but living in New York and of another era, fresh oranges were special and so were walnuts. Now we eat all over the place and hardly any food is rare. People walk and eat and drive and eat and oranges are a few dollars a bag. But the holidays remain special. It’s as if we save this time of year to wander through our memory banks and it’s good we do. It’s good to take a look at our lives and feel the emotions left behind from people who have been special in our lives. Some of these are painful. My father was buried on Christmas Eve and this is the first Christmas since my son died. There have been happy holidays as well. They all seem to fit in a rich tapestry of a life spent here on earth. Allow yourself time to process the holidays, enjoy the time as best you can. All things pass and this Christmas holiday will pass as all of them have. It is good to know we have lived, we have loved, we were loved, are loved and care. If time and/or money permit, help someone else this holiday season. Above all else, forgive yourself and those whom you may feel may have wronged you. Pay your good fortune of being alive forward and in advance.