This world is an ugly mess, you've seen it for yourself. You've fought a good fight, but you're losing.

May you kiss a baby today. A fat one. Maybe press your nose against a soft, newborn scalp and smell heaven.

And I hope you eat—food, not the baby. I hope you shovel in so much Christmas cooking it makes your vision blur and heart race.

Afterward, take an after-dinner stroll with someone special.

Maybe look at stars and think things like: how big is the universe? What color is happiness? Or: how many cups of sugar does it take to get to the moon?

Find someone to kiss; you’ll have your answers.

Today, I pray you look over your life without pain. May you remember things that shaped you—good and bad. Things you lost—great and small. People who hurt you—friends and greasy pricks.

May Nancy feel the spirit of Mitch, her late, Cajun husband of fifty-two years. And may the family of the deceased two-year-old believe in goodwill toward men.

May under-confident boys discover fishing. May over-confident ones discover catching jack squat.

May your television stay off. And I pray your smartphone spends the holiday on a nightstand—unless, of course, you’re talking to someone important.

Each year on Christmas Eve, my father used to open an address book. He’d make phone calls to distant family, old friends, plumbers, electricians, coworkers, neighbors, enemies.

I attempt the same thing during the holidays, but I’m terrible at it. I’m not good on the phone.

Last year, I texted an old fishing buddy. We weren’t close. The response was: “This is his son. Don is no longer with us. Merry X-mas.”

That hurt.

I also texted my old boss. He replied: “Thanks for reaching out, Sean! You were always my favorite employee!”


I’m touched. Maybe his favoritism is what compelled him to give me two pay cuts and buy himself a brand new, showroom-quality, one-ton truck.

May you accept things. Happy things. Unhappy things. Simple things which confuse you. The sorts of things you can’t change. Such as:

1. The weather.

2. Everything else.

This world is an ugly mess, you’ve seen it for yourself. You’ve fought a good fight, but you’re losing.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t make people kindhearted. You can’t bring loved ones back from the ground. Dogs don’t live forever, hate keeps existing, and time doesn’t heal all wounds.

Maybe all you can do is love. Maybe that’s all anyone could ever do.

Lucky us.

Anyway, who the hell am I to talk? You know this stuff. You weren’t born yesterday. I just hope today you accept it.

Then, maybe you’ll pick up a baby and say:

“My God, how great thou art.”

Merry Christmas.


  1. Judy - December 25, 2016 2:07 pm

    Yes, He is!

  2. Mary Ellen Hall - December 26, 2016 3:41 am


  3. sherry k. - December 26, 2016 9:05 pm

    Love this one…think we may have worked together!

  4. Peggy - December 25, 2017 10:30 am

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing you point of view and reminding me of the things that are important! Blessings and peace to you and yours. ❤️

  5. Doc - December 25, 2017 10:39 am

    Our prayer is for a baby to pick up and kiss. Merry Christmas and may God bless you and yours!

  6. Butch - December 25, 2017 11:02 am

    Merry Christmas Sean! I can’t wait to read this to my family as we sit around the tree this morning and I am now gonna smile even wider when I hold my baby grand neice this morning!

  7. Melanie Howell - December 25, 2017 11:45 am

    One of my favorites! Merry Christmas and thank you for your gift

  8. Susan Danley - December 25, 2017 12:16 pm

    Merry Christmas Sean and blessings for you and your sweet wife throughout the new year.

  9. Judy - December 25, 2017 2:04 pm

    Merry Christmas! I don’t have a baby to hold….but I can still say “How Great is my God!”

    Yes, I still wish I had a baby to hold.

    Merry Christmas!

  10. Vicky - December 25, 2017 3:00 pm

    Dear Sean, I must disagree! On the list of things that you cannot change, sometimes, sometimes if you try hard enough you just might be able to change yourself! That is if you have someone showing you all of the good things of this world. Thank you, Sean! Merry Christmas!

  11. Mary Ellen O'Hara - December 26, 2017 5:50 pm

    Thank you Sean, Merry Christmas


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