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There is much talk this time of year about holiday spirit.

This spirit is the upswelling of good feelings that comes every year with holy days, the solstice or the turn of the calendar. It’s an elixir that cannot be drunk. It just appears, and it suffuses everything, sometime after the leaves start falling on the Long Island Rail Road tracks and before the Long Island Expressway is covered in January slush.

For weeks, the editorial board, like many of you, might seem unaffected by this spirit. There is municipal malfeasance and national nonsense to complain about, after all. Someone might try to rip you off, or pull a fast one, or promote bad ideas so quickly that you might not notice. It happens all the time. How is this different from the rest of the year? Bah humbugs all around.

But then the holiday season goes into full swing. There are presents to buy. There are cookies and cakes to bake. Trees are decorated. Sacred ceremonies are held and songs sung. Families and friends gather. And, hopefully, help is given to the needy and those who aren’t surrounded by family and friends. We try to be the best versions of ourselves.

And it becomes hard to be the Scrooge at the table. So many people are joyful, and for a moment each of us tries to be joyful and good to one another. This is the holiday spirit.

The spirit is rejuvenating, and it is ultimately impossible to ignore. It comes from the beautiful hope that there can be peace on Earth, that we all can get along, that this impulse toward goodness and tranquility is somewhere deep inside us all. We can summon it, and we do. The world is a wonderful place at such moments: glowing, warm and open.

So today, we wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy season full of holiday spirit and cheer.

And we hope the season and spirit linger long into the new year.The editorial board

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