I watched a Christmas movie last night called "Christmas in the Smokies" in which, true to sappy movie form, the main character lost all hope of her family having a merry Christmas. In seeing her skepticism, her father pointed to their barn and reminded her that Christmas is a time when "...a baby was born in that manger".

The thought that an ordinary feed manger could become a symbol of hope for millions at Christmastime is crazy. It shows just how much our world needs hope to keep us going. It shows how much we look to Christmastime as a time to renew our hope. 

Christmas is over but the spirit of hope that Christmas brings does not have to be. Here are a five of my favorite links to keep you merry all week long:

- Dance Moms: I dare you not to smile. Warriors Mom Robin Schreiber told Fox News, "After the election I kind of felt people were down and needed something more upbeat so I decided to don my sweater once again and get up and dance!”

- Wish Fulfillment in Philly: This kid takes passion for the Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer team to a new (heartwarming) level. Philadelphia Union Right Back, Keegan Rosenberry, tweeted, "This is the passion that Philadelphia fans embody, can't wait to see this family."

-Rivalry: Watching the Warriors vs. The Cavaliers yesterday was mesmerizing, yet it was nothing new. The Cavs' comeback should have felt familiar. The familiarity was "...like saying Jesus was born on Christmas Day, or that you’re going to return that weird scarf your mom’s second cousin put under the tree for you. It’s obvious".

Let's not take this Warriors and Cavaliers rivalry for granted, even if the outcome of some games will be familiar or obvious. The rivalry will only last for so long. The Cavaliers' motto used to be "There's always next year", but for now, let's enjoy this one: 

-Ace: I'm a sucker for golf, in large part because of my dad, but even if you're not a golf fan, this story about a father and son united on the fourth hole, may reduce you to puddles. It may give you newfound hope; it may give you newfound belief. After narrating this piece, Rick Reilly wrote, "I'm still not a religious man, but something was on that ball besides groovespin".

-Fighter: Czech professional tennis player, Petra Kvitova, suffered a knife attack last Tuesday that impaired her hand as she fought her intruder. Kvitova is a champion, though, not a victim. Already, though barely starting to recover, she is full of hope, and full of fight. She said in a news conference, "It does not really matter to me how long it will take (to play again), whether it is three months, six months, a year or however long. But certainly I want to return one day and I will do everything possible to do so"

What were your favorite, hopeful stories from last week or this week? I would love to see your comments.

Happiest of Holidays, Everyone! 

Elise MatsonComment