Kathy Garbow of Lake Lure holds what is left of a birthday cake after the cake giver tripped and lost half the cake on the dock at the October Mountain Breeze writers dinner party. From the right is David Efird, husband of “Real estate market watch” columnist, Charlene Effird; David Wulff, “Built to last” columnist and myself all celebrating birthdays that same week. Photo by Kurt Garbow

With a doctoral dissertation on worship environment years behind me and just returning from leading a boys choir retreat, I am reminded of how important those spaces are where we live, work and find inspiration. There were so many moments of sheer joy listening to those young voices fill the air with soaring harmonies as they sang through carols and songs in preparation for the holidays. Making music in that space was meaningful because of their efforts. We were all there together with a goal and purpose, enjoying some immediate results.

The space we fill in life wherever we are changes when we step in because our presence makes a difference.

Would you be missed if you didn’t attend? Should you make the effort when your attendance is optional? Would family, a friend, a colleague, a club member, a neighbor miss you? Just showing up can open up a world of possibilities and good will.

Are you making the best use of your space? Be there this season. Make your environment harmonious. Fill your space with good people doing good things.

During this holiday season with its many demands, may you find those opportunities for celebration in all kinds of places. May you find new hope and meaning in your holiday traditions. And may your space be filled with peace, joy and understanding because you made the connection, you gave, you shared and you received.