It’s that time of year again. And, though the very word — Christmas — carries a hint of magic as it twirls through our thoughts, stirring up wonderfully evocative memories of enchanting, never to be forgotten moments, it is also a time of short tempers, long lines, great expectations and, greater still, disappointments. The real meaning of the holiday has almost been lost in the flurry of sales and promised bargains and crowded parking lots, where cars are parked tight as teeth, and patience, or the lack thereof, is measured in the number of angry car horns and shouted expletives. The temptation to get lost in the commercialism and the frenzy of the season often clouds our best intentions. Our eyes glaze over at the man holding the sign asking for spare change, the man with the squeegee at the traffic light, the disheveled woman next to us. We watch warily as newcomers slip in among us. We burrow our hands deeper into our pockets, pull down our caps and hurry along.