The Appraiser’s Diary: Christmas Message

By Rachel Hoffman
   Now daylight is short, and the nighttime is long, but with the winter solstice in December comes the lengthening of daylight. People have celebrated this natural event since the dawn of civilization. The sun is the source of energy and life. We delight in the dispelling of cold and darkness.
   We associate the sun with joy and hope. December concludes our calendar year, and it ushers in the New Year. We celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas with grand festivities. We lay aside selfishness and hatred, and we share a day of universal kindness and compassion.
   December is a time of both reflection and resolution. A lot has happened to us this year personally and collectively. Some of us have experienced trials, and some of us have made progress. The outgoing year has been marked by births and deaths, promotions and marriages, reunions and new friendships. May peace and goodwill spread around the world and bring forgiveness and healing.
   Christmas trees, sparkling lights, colorful ornaments, and gold and silver tinsel serve as reminders of the importance of Christmas. Cities and towns across America will have friendly gatherings. People dream of a white Christmas and a sleigh ride. They will dress in their favorite apparel. And many churches will be filled.    We joyfully welcome visiting friends and relations and exchange gifts. We take photographs and bring out family photo albums. We delight in holly and mistletoe, garlands and wreaths, carols and greeting cards, stockings by the fireplace, images of Santa Claus, nativity scenes representing the holy family in the stable at Bethlehem, choirs of angels, potted poinsettias and blooming Christmas cactuses, lighted candlesticks, and neatly wrapped presents.
   Christmas dinners across the country will be scrumptious. We’ll have turkey and gravy, side dishes, sauces, vegetables, pies and cakes, chestnuts and candies. There will be cider and fine wine to drink. There will be laughter and toasts to a happy and prosperous future. Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year.
   But let us not forget that Christmas is as much a fantasy as a reality. Although our holiday may not have all the niceties and good fortune we wish, the real meaning of Christmas is the treasure we store in our hearts. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
   To learn more about Rachel Hoffman’s appraisal practice, visit www.

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