I don’t know how it works, and it isn’t guaranteed to always work, but somehow Christmas is beautiful and peaceful even when the run of days up to it are an emotional roller coaster. When I view the day through the lens of my religious beliefs, the day is blessed. It is specifically granted an extra measure of peace, particularly when I’ve been praying for exactly that. From a more earthly viewpoint, Christmas is a collaborative creation of all the participants. We create it for each other, and in a house where people have been thinking and planning carefully for weeks, the creation is beautiful.
Christmas comes as a candle flame in dark midwinter. It brings light and warmth. And it never hurts to have a cat to oversee the unwrapping.