Today is Christmas Eve in this part of the world!   And in spite of the terrible weather conditions in many places, in spite of war in and 45 armed conflicts in Ukraine, the Middle East and North Africa and the tripledemic (RSV, Covid, flu), it’s a special time for many.

Or, is it?

Do you remember Archie Bunker of TV’s “All in the Family” fame?  In one Christmas Eve episode, Archie said to his wife Edith: “Stifle, Edith. Let’s have a little Silent Night around here for a change. I’m the only one thinking of the real solemn meaning of Christmas.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and quiet contemplation.”

Edith replied “But Archie, I think you’re allowed to be jolly, too.”

“Sure, Edith. I never said you shouldn’t be jolly.  Just be jolly with your mouth shut” said Archie.

When I first saw that tv episode, I was not amused by Archie’s response.  When I saw that episode again, I couldn’t help but wonder, especially in light of all the misery, suffering, fear-about-the-future that is happening, how can people “stifle” Christmas?

Joy is needed.
Hope in a better tomorrow is needed.
Celebration is needed.
Especially at a time such as this.

Children are a wonderful reminder that ultimately
… good *can* conquer evil
… hope *can* overcome despair
… love *can* obliterate hatred
… joy *can* permeate sadness.

If we “stifle” the joy, the hope, the celebration –
If we “stifle” … and don’t speak out against hatred, racism, lies, evil … don’t speak out against what we know is wrong … don’t let our voice and actions protest injustice and cruelty, a legacy will be left for children that will change this world in unspeakable ways. There could be no children who will be able to teach how to live with hope, goodness, love, joy — who could give hope with their smiles and infectious eyes … their innocence … their ability to enter into joy with their imagination intact … their anticipation and sheer delight at holidays and birthdays … their wide-eyed awe at the sight of a puppy, a kitten, coloured Christmas lights … their expectant hope that Santa would visit them this night.

Let us not stifle!   Let’s let the children teach us.  Teach us how to “live Christmas” whether Christmas is observed as a religious celebration or a secular holiday.

Let us look for the good, the joy, the hope, the Santa, the elves, the Christ Child, the simple act of believing that each day is a gift and each person is a gift.

As always, you are welcome to share this or any ‘Soulistry – Artistry of the Soul’ reflection.
© June Maffin
The Twelve Days of Christmas begin tomorrow on Christmas Day – the first day of the Season of Christmas.   A series of reflections throughout each of the Twelve Days of Christmas begins tomorrow and will be found at

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(This photo of my son, Tod, was taken on Christmas Eve when he was 20 months old and is used with his permission.)

© June Maffin