Joe Henderson: Christmas Eve is a night to reflect and recharge
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Monday will be here soon enough., but until then, peace.

When it comes to political topics on which to opine, Florida is a target-rich environment. Sometimes, it’s too rich, if you get my drift. I spend a lot of megabytes in this space squawking about this or that.

But when this Friday evening arrives, after we extinguish the candles at church and the echoes of “Silent Night” subside, it will be time to savor the peace of Christmas Eve.

That’s right. Christmas Eve, hours before the excitement and joy the next morning for millions of households throughout Florida, is perhaps my favorite night of the year.

The shopping is done, and preparations for Christmas Day are in place. It’s a time to reflect on my family and appreciate a life of undeserved blessings. Christmas Eve helps recharge the inner self.

Yes, we know what’s going on throughout our state, nation, and globe. Divisions that are here today will still be there on Monday. I’ll care about them then, but for a few days at least, I won’t play along.

It’s the first Christmas for my new grandson. Do I have to say more?

I often have a news channel on here at home as background noise while I work, but the other day I switched over to the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl game (which is an actual thing).

Yeah, that was pretty silly, but at that moment, I didn’t need a minute-by-minute update on the omicron variant.

I know it’s bad, and vaccinations are good. No lectures, though. If you’re in the group that believes Pfizer and the other vaccine-makers want to inject you with a serum to turn you into a Biden-loving zombie, well, Merry Christmas.

Peace on Earth.

We need Christmas — this year more than ever. We all need to take a huge, deep breath and exhale slowly. We’ve had more than our portion of bad news in 2021, but Christmas reminds us there were also moments of joy.

One instance, in particular, struck close to home.

Michelle Schorsch, the wife of Florida Politics Publisher Peter Schorsch, spent several weeks in the ICU this year with a life-threatening ailment. As frightening as that time was for her immediate family and the extended one here at Florida Politics, what a celebration it is to see her healed, happy, and healthy now.

I get it, though. This Christmas will be empty for those families who lost loved ones in the Surfside condo catastrophe. Too many people will wake up on Christmas morning in a hospital bed or maybe a homeless shelter.

The pleas for food and clothing donations from outfits like Metropolitan Ministries in Tampa remind us that this season is extra hard on too many families. We do what we can to help, but it’s not always enough.

So, if you’re inclined, offer a prayer to the child from Bethlehem; that’s the reason Christmas is even a thing. I always try to put a few bucks in the Salvation Army kettle outside Publix to honor my late mom, who was a bell-ringer.

If you’re going to be with family this weekend, savor the moments because you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Laugh if you can, and find joy in something.

Then, sit back on Christmas Eve and recharge. Maybe look outside at the stars and imagine what that silent night must have been like all those centuries ago. Monday will be here soon enough.

Until then, peace.

Joe Henderson

I have a 45-year career in newspapers, including nearly 42 years at The Tampa Tribune. Florida is wacky, wonderful, unpredictable and a national force. It's a treat to have a front-row seat for it all.


  • Charles

    December 22, 2021 at 7:06 pm

    Well written

  • Alex

    December 22, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    Merry Christmas Joe, and to everyone at FP especially Peter and his bride.

    Happy holidays, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, any faith you have, and no faith.

    Peace on Earth, good will towards everyone.

  • Rosa Gomez

    December 24, 2021 at 4:39 am

    I do have some concern about the way they are handling this issues but at the same time we do not need to be extremist when comes to human rights and specially minors
    Let’s wait for the refugi documents

Comments are closed.


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