The Christmas season is a time that’s both celebratory and somber for many, as we celebrate hope and joy and close the year, like ending a chapter. We tend to wonder about the worth of the past year and feel the excitement and intimidation of being at the threshold of another new year. I find there’s one thing we desire to be the sum of ourselves through the journeys we travel — that is to achieve beauty. Beauty, however, is more than a superficial covering, but a triumph over the broken, meaningless, hopeless, and regretful. This is beauty marked by truth, the good, wholeness, and dignity, under the rich classical notion. This beauty is fought for by ourselves and, at the same time, bestowed on us by those who treat us with love and respect. To fight for beauty in ourselves, in our lives, and in our journey, we need the fierce courage to create beauty in our lives and the humility to find and receive beauty from others. So as we come to the closure of a year with a celebration of joy, hope, and peace, I invite us to capture the beauty that was gained this year. Do something this Christmas that makes you more beautiful. Relish in the beauties of this year. Marinate in the company of those who nurture greater beauty in you. Above all, wherever your path has been as you arrive to the conclusion of 2016, allow this Christmas to remind you that you are far more loved than you could possibly imagine by a creative God who has envisioned a beautiful life for you.