This normally bustling city of 3.5 million, in Salvador, Brazil, is slow to stir this morning, as the empty streets, free of traffic and vendors, yield to the sounds of eager roosters and exotic birds, fast at work, without the encumbrance of the Christmas Eve celebrations from the night before. The leisurely rousing of the populace is due to the late night celebrations each family traditionally shares after midnight, when finger foods, cocktails, dinner and desserts have all been served and love, well wishes and gifts have been exchanged. The littlest ones go to bed first, still in eager anticipation of “Papai Noel’s” expectant visit through the night, where they will awake to find the most special of gifts, this morning.

The non-traditional climate and late night timing of the holiday, for me, does not impede the joy and wonder of this experience, especially when children are involved. Sharing this evening with Karina Sena’s family meant the world to us, as we tapped into the global moment of peace on earth and goodwill toward all.

The sense of wonder and joy are aspects of life that have become harder to illicit in the jaded eyes of older folks, yet are oftentimes sparked when revisited through the eyes of the young. The innocence of a child’s perspective, lack of knowledge yet intuitive reactions to things, are gifts we can still enjoy, by remembering not to assume outcomes in advance, to appreciate “what is” rather than expecting something else, giving without wanting in return, and loving one another just because it feels good.

We can seek to be guileless by staying in the moment and not always looking for things that suit our egos rather than our needs, and by not placing ourselves before others when essentially what’s good for them is good for us. In fact,this holiday reminds us to consider others more than ourselves…do our part by giving and be thankful for what we have…so we can blissfully sleep in late, from time to time…no matter when or where we are on the planet.

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