Early morning checkout at the supermarket and it’s just me and a lone checker. Her smile hides some obvious pain, and as I offer to help with the bagging she apologies and tells me of her long night in the ER with her daughter, and how she’s not quite herself at the start of her dawn shift. The challenges we all face are relentless and without regard for timing of even any sense of the holidays. My personal wish and endeavor this season is to keep this thought foremost in my mind with everyone I meet. And to look past any exterior window dressing to offer a sincere and honest smile and expression of well wishes, whatever the holidays may bring.