To all the friends and adversaries of SHS, please accept my heartfelt best wishes for the best of the Season. Sometimes, it can seem that all is strife and madness. But while in many ways we live in the best of times, it is all too easy to forget that it certainly isn't the worst of times. Here is what Longfellow wrote in 1863, in the midst of the Civil War:
I heard the bells on Christmas day Their old familiar carols play. And mild and sweet the words repeat, Of peace on earth, good will to men.
I thought how as the day had come, The belfries of all Christendom Had roll'd along th' unbroken song Of peace on earth, good will to men.
And in despair I bow'd my head: "There is no peace on earth," I said, "For hate is strong, and mocks the song Of peace on earth, good will to men."
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep: "God is not dead, nor doth He sleep; The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, With peace on earth, good will to men."
'Til ringing, singing on its way, The world revolved from night to day, A voice, a chime, a chant sublime, Of peace on earth, good will to men! .
As for me, I intend to drink a little eggnog, enjoy my family, play Santa Claus on Christmas morning around the tree, and give thanks for the many reasons for joy in my life.