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Beginning of Advent

This is the holiday season in the United States. Not only was last Thursday Thanksgiving Day, yesterday was the first day of Advent. Technically, today is Cyber Monday (the e-store response to Black Friday on the day after Thanksgiving), but we feel like we shouldn't count holidays that exist solely to sell stuff. Even Presidents' Day, whose main effect is a long weekend and lots of sales, at least exists to celebrate something other than 20% off at the furniture store.

So the next month will be filled with Christmas music and decorations and parties and special church services. While the climax of the holiday season is Christmas, it lasts through New Year's Day, with not a lot of work getting done in between. While for many people, this season is a time of celebration and re-connection with one's friends and family, others find it stressful and lonely, with old wounds exacerbated by memories of happier times. And for a lot of people, it's some of each.

We have two…

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