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This Christmas Eve past, I touched and cradled each bead. Beads found in a thrift shop housed in a little pearl box, tucked away, discarded and ignored.

Upon opening the box, the beads lacked luster, little beads and big beads missing, links tangled. I wondered who had held these beads.

Was the shine diminished from tear drops falling, links tangled from grasping the beads too tight, from fingers passing over and over, counting the beads one by one, always hoping, thanking, asking and quickly remembering?

This Christmas Eve, I’ll take the broken beads out of the damaged box. I, too, will hope, thank, be grateful, remember and love. As I cradle each bead, the beads and I will echo a wish that the entire world will have a moment of peace and a very merry Christmas day.

Webster writes from Del Haven.