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The Spirit of Christmas Never-Was

In his 1851 short story "What Christmas is as we Grow Older," Dickens says that the holiday is the time to "bear witness" to our parallel lives, our "old aspirations," "old projects," and "old loves." He says, "Welcome alike what has been, and what never was, and what we hope may be, to your shelter underneath the holly."

I like that idea, to accept and acknowledge the "never was": paths not walked, loves that didn't work out, actions not taken. "[F]or, who shall say that they are not our teachers"?

Read the full essay here. It's lovely.

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