Roy’s Sunday Letter for November 5, 2023

This is my first Encouragement Sunday Letter. I am writing about the November – December holiday season. I choose preparing for the events, foods, shopping, and gatherings of the holiday season because this has been annual struggle for me.

What I know about pressured or stressful events is to stay ahead of decisions, calendars, and be aware of my tendency to over-think. We balance the right reasons of preparation with the goodness and right reasons of the season, relationships, and the joy found in family, office, or civic gatherings.

A Sunday Letter question or two.

1) What parts of the November – December holiday season do you most enjoy? 2) Is there a part of the holiday season you have not enjoyed fully in the past? How can you change or adjust the event or gathering, including your own attitude, to add your enjoyment with the enjoyment of and with others?

Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas can be the warmest and best of childhood memories. Each life stage will add new, maybe different and seasonal memories. Whether family and friends are nearby or states away, the holiday season is about the scared, the heritage, and the relationships important to us all.

Both Thanksgiving and Christmas can be opportunities of the sacred. My Encouragement is for me, for us all, to go deeper in our faith, to go broader in our faith to include others, especially those previously excluded from the heritage of the season. So, enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes of the holiday season.


  1. Sandra on November 5, 2023 at 7:14 am

    I appreciate this impetus to do these holidays differently—and now is an excellent time to reframe them. There are so many opportunities for gratitude, and not so much need for stress when relationships are the focus. I will check in with you in January to see how we both did!

    • Roy Bowen on November 5, 2023 at 1:35 pm

      You and Anne will do well. For me, I can isolate and stay private. But, i live with this social person and isolation not in her language.
      I was faced with my first holiday type food table today at Westside Unitarian….Good for me, I went “plant based.”
      Be wel. You have courage and wisdom over-flowing. Roy

  2. Roy Bowen on November 5, 2023 at 7:17 am

    Beth, as Sunday Letter Editor, makes the Sunday Letter readable when I become lost in my words and thoughts. There is no Sunday Letter without Beth’s values. Beliefs and wisdom.

  3. Maurine on November 5, 2023 at 7:39 am

    I so appreciate the compliment to Beth. She is so supportive of your endeavors and is an example of love, compassion and caring. The holidays are certainly different with Jim gone, he was the extrovert that wanted to have parties, go to gatherings and celebrate the season. I am content to be with family and close friends. This year I am more concerned about the state of our nation and the world that we are all a part of. Peace would be an excellent gift.

    • Roy Bowen on November 5, 2023 at 1:22 pm

      All of your current reasons are the very reasons to practice Peace by hosting and attending evente…..kind of a protest to resist the violence and harmful that wants us to isolate and separate. My weird thoughts….& lunch for 3 soon. Roy

  4. Paul Warren on November 5, 2023 at 8:29 am

    I believe in the Twelve Step adage, “keep it simple, stupid!” Focusing on relationships, quality time and what we do have, rather than what we don’t have.

    • Roy Bowen on November 5, 2023 at 1:18 pm

      To my surprise dafting Expectations harder than the longer, diverse topics of traditional SL,
      Thanks for hanging in with humanity, put together with broken parts. Roy

  5. Janice Nourse on November 5, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    The holiday season is full of passion–up and down, and forceful. A zealousness for cooking, eating, singing, shopping, worshiping. Although I voice my longing for peace, I’m wondering. . . if I took the boisterous emotions out of it, would there be anything left besides red and green paper and dirty dishes? Jan

    • Roy Bowen on November 8, 2023 at 9:51 am

      You are on the right and true path.
      You show courage, hope, and even an Angel or three in the hallways.
      My Wednesday thought: Cling to the goodness, knowing there are tears and stains there too.
      We accept “the all”…..both the boring, the great, and the still emerging.

      All the best. We keep at it due we not???


  6. Frank Long on November 5, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    The fall/early winter events can bring happy memories, but I find myself in conflict as I try to prepare for the seasons of sharing that lie ahead. Conflict in the middle east, conflict in Congress, conflicting emotions as I recall people I celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas with no longer in my life – either distance or death. Conflicting schedules, directing the choir for their upcoming concert here at the Sr. Living facility where we now reside with 2 of the members having terminal illnesses. Why are we singing about “joy to the world” in the midst of death and dying? Conflict. Not pleasant, but somehow, this year, under the surface of the smiling, heart felt gatherings.

    • Roy Bowen on November 8, 2023 at 9:47 am

      All true of life and especially your life these days.
      Thus, why I wrote about holidays….both hard, special, and “is all this over yet?”
      Your words reflect all this and more.
      Right person, right time, right place
      My Wednesday thought: Even in the midst of the divisions and the fall down, there is an Angel in there somewhere.
      So, let both keep at it…..tis what we do. Roy

  7. Peter Kleven on November 5, 2023 at 10:37 pm

    The recent days have painted beautiful moments in the beauty of nature with cool evening walks with the hints of coolness viewing the spectacular setting of the sun and the surrounding peace in the midst of emerging Christmas lights as I am guided by my faithful and loving companion, Roxie.

    • Roy Bowen on November 8, 2023 at 9:39 am

      Roxie leads us all!
      Thursday rain and cooler, as the fall should be
      Back to you today with calendar….Roy

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