We find ourselves in the throes of another wonderful Christmas Day. As with last year, I feel incredibly fortunate to have wonderful people in my life. First and foremost, I want to extend good tidings and cheer to you and your families this Christmas and holiday season.
Too often, we find ourselves wrapped up in the temporary and shelving the things that are permanent and lasting. Our family, faith, and freedoms are often taken for granted whilst we address the fleeting and the transient burdens and boons of this life. Fred, the only son of Scrooge’s sister, is my favorite character ensconced within our culture’s Christmas canon. Fred is a secondary character, which is commentary itself on Scrooge’s isolation. Ebenezer had only one sibling, his sister Fan, whom he loved dearly. She passed away giving birth to Fred. It would seem reasonable to expect her death to have yolked Scrooge and Fred in a unique bond. Fred should be the character Scrooge is closest to; instead, Dickens gives him the same station as the young caroler or solicitors at the door of his counting house.
Still, Fred maintains his jovial cheer in spite of his obdurate uncle:
“‘There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,’ returned the nephew. ‘Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round—apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that—as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
It’s with this same spirit that I wish to spend my days this season. At Bench Points, I am so thankful and proud of the work that we do. However, I would be trafficking in disingenuity by painting an idyllic picture of our year. This year has been, for us, a transitional period which highlighted the opportunities for growth in the coming year. I do not feel that we have regressed, however, we were not able to progress in the manner I had expected. That’s how the world works, and that’s perfectly fine.
I am thankful, as always, for the contributions of Billy, Caleb, and Brian. Although they are not presently writing for us, I am deeply grateful for their efforts and contributions. I would have been forced to shutter this project without the help of my great team of writers.
I am especially thankful for Aaron and his willingness to jump into writing an NFL column. I think we can all agree that it’s worked out pretty well.
If there’s anything this year has taught me, it’s that flexibility is paramount to running a blog–among other pursuits–and that we should be comfortable being uncomfortable. I don’t know what the future holds for our little sports blog, but I am filled with excitement for the next year to come. I am always hopeful for the next year and grateful for the most recent year past.
So, today, on Christmas, I encourage you to set aside the anxieties of the fleeting and temporary and embrace the permanent things of this life–Faith, family, and friendships.
I wish you the happiest of Christmases and the most joyous of New Years. Thank you all for reading and growing with us this year.