But one of them has nothing to do with shopping, wrapping, cooking, cleaning and all the other things we do as we're getting ready for the big day.
We need to stop. We need to think. We need to pray.
This is a hard column to write, because for me--and for most of us--it's nearly impossible to think of anything but those lost children in Connecticut and, of course, their utterly devastated parents.
Our president said, "Our hearts are broken."
And that pretty much says it.
No one really knows much beyond that, no matter what they say.
Life will go on. It always does. And as days and weeks pass, we will, as we always seem to do, gradually adjust to the inexplicable realities of a time and day and society that sometimes entirely eludes understanding. Because I think evil really does exist in our world, and the only way to counteract it is with goodness, faith, truth, time and love.
I took a walk this morning, trying to think of something else to say today. Something that might make some sense in the midst of a time so filled with unspeakable sorrow.
I was so sad. I was so afraid.
As I walked something suddenly came into my head; something that was said over two thousand years ago, at the beginning of this great, glorious season.
"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people."
And I decided that, for me, that was it. Not an answer, but a reminder for those who love and believe and dare to dream.
Because from despair comes hope.
From darkness, wondrous light.
And from fear and sorrow, a season of great joy.
Pray for those babies. Pray for their moms and dads.
Pray for the world.