Today the novena for Christmas began. In 9 days it will be Christmas. The Christmas cards are slowly coming in already. The sending of Christmas cards is and remains a difficult thing for me.

This month has been a rollercoaster of feelings. December 11 is the death anniversary of my dad, now right before Christmas the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas with lots of activities. At Christmas itself until New Year the socializing with family.

The beauty of these emotions is that Jesus was born for you and me. He was born in all simplicity in a small dirty stable, wrapped in cloths. With no LED lights, no Wham!, and no elaborate meal. No it was a bright star, angels singing, and the breastfeeding of Mary.

When I look around the shopping streets, Christmas lights have been on for 2 months. I am annoyed that this is complete waste of money and power. We should be economical with electricity. You can save for the wallet, but the environment is more important to me. At the Munster Square there is the ice rink where the big LED screen comes on early and is on there while no one is there. Also the magic route in Roermond with which you can use extra power at various places in the center with a magic wand. This is purely for commerce. The Municipality of Roermond has ignored the government's call for savings.

Christmas is anno 2022 not a celebration of the birth of Christ as our Lord and Savior, but a period in the year where it is dark and where you get together to eat good food and in January can go to the gym to work out the kilos off.

I know that flying to Panama is not good for the environment either, but there are no alternatives. And on top of that, it's been three years since I've seen my dear family and friends. So that way I can justify it to myself. If there are better ways to fly, instead of having trees planted then I will choose that.

This year has been an eventful one. After the COVID-19 pandemic, we now have a war. We pray that the Prince of Peace transforms weapons into garden tools. For me personally, I think 2023 will kickstart my visit to Soná.

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