Now that the holiday season is over, just like you, I have the sad task of having to pack up what so many of us see as happiness. So, last night, I wrapped up my Christmas tree, filled my newly purchased ornament snapware, and removed all traces of Christmas from my home. It didn't upset me to remove the snowmen and nativities alone, but the gentle reminders of peace, love, and hope that we are all better than the news states day after day. Perhaps I shouldn't be so simplistic. Why do I look to these symbols to remind me to love a bit more, or trust humanity just a bit more than I would typically expect to? Well, because a bomber stepped onto a plane Christmas day and tried to create another horrific scene of panic and hopelessness. Perhaps because people who are "too qualified" and desperate for employment are being turned down for positions like the ones that I offer because they have lost their current jobs due to downsizing, the stars, whatever it may be. Perhaps because daily I have to look people in the face who are on track to lose their homes, their cars and so eventually their jobs. So, for me, packing up the advent calendar, the pillows, the cookbooks and other paraphernalia, was more significant than in years past. It was harder for me to put away those daily remembrances of the dream that we are better than the sum of our parts. That it will be OK. That we can collectively fix this, and that we get to trust more and judge less. So, for this new year here is to love, to safety, to security. And perhaps I will put up some hearts and glitter for Valentines day to remind me to once again love my brother.