Definitions of love include: an expression of perfect kindness, willing the good of the other, patience, belief in all things and that which never fails.
Love is the defining and organizing principle of the holidays. But of the many forms of love and expressions that one finds, there is that which is seen in Christmas lights or for that matter Hanukkah lights in adult, adolescent and especially children’s faces.
Tennyson writes of a gleam, “Not of the sunlight / Not of the moonlight / Not of the starlight!” Wonderful words distinguishing something found in the adventurer’s or mariner’s eye that propels them to do transcendent deeds.
I think Tennyson was onto something, but I prefer the holiday season light in human eyes. Found in the warmth of the human heart that enhances and lights the longest nights of winter. The season means a deeper and warmer light than that created by electricity, candles or fireplaces.
I am a Christian and thoughts of a baby born in a manger with star shine and a humble couple watching over with majestic kings paying homage from their hearts are comforting. In the midst of all of this a tyrannical King Herod pronounces an edict to take the lives of all first-born in the hopes that this baby would die.
And yet there is light and love of this couple and the kings that protects the child. The couple goes in exile to Egypt, the kings avoid the tyrant and travel a new way back to their countries. There are no metal shields or swords to fight for and protect this child. Instead, there is a deep, warm and abiding human love and that is enough.