This is my most peaceful hour of the year. No phone calls. No texts. No one trying to get a hold of me. No one upset.  No barking from the dog. No smog. Tomorrow I’ll cook a breakfast, but I’m pretty sure it will include hog. Nothing left to be done. Just a quiet reflection of the year. A fire, Christmas tree, a small glass of egg nog, the TV on but on mute. Just the sound of the heater somewhere in the distance and me.

If you have come across this, I hope you are as grateful for a year and a life as well-spent as mine. I couldn’t be more grateful. I’m surrounding by everyone I need. I couldn’t be happier.

Tomorrow I travel around to the other side of the world by myself to visit a place I have never been. I’m always a bit sad to leave the US where everything is comfortable and familiar. Two nights from now, I’ll be in Vietnam, where nothing will be familiar.

Every year I try to record some Christmas music. It gets me in the spirit. This year it came a little late–three songs a week ago. But, we got them done in time. I’ve lost some of the music I’ve done over the years, but I promise next year there will be three new songs you’ve never heard from me. I’ve recorded this year with two good friends–one is one of my best friends in Leo Raymundo. It’s a short list of homemade Christmas jazz. I hope you enjoy it. If you do, say something.

But most importantly, if you are reading this, be grateful. You are at least doing okay. Merry Christmas.