By Andrew Harris

This is what we think joy looks like. And, don’t get me wrong, what you see in this video is true, unbridled joy. In all our Christmas movies and Christmas commercials, we’re shown that joy is this screaming, giggling, bubbling, bursting explosion that immediately follows the sounds of ripping wrapping paper. And sometimes it is.

But there is another kind of joy that doesn’t translate so well to a 30-second spot that airs during halftime. It’s the kind of joy that is harder for an animator to paint onto the face of an anthropomorphic snowman. It’s a dull joy; a latent joy; a patient, waiting joy. You feel it when you lay down and the moonlight slants through the shutters. You feel it when your breath plumes like a cloud in the morning sun. It’s not the joy that comes from singing, but the joy that comes from praying. It’s not the joy that comes from laughing, but the joy that comes from crying. It’s not the joy that comes from opening a gift, but from having received it— and there’s a slight difference.

So this week of joy, let’s all revel in the Christmas cheer, eat our cookies, and drink our cocoa. But let’s not forget to acknowledge that sweet, dull joy that comes from simply knowing that we are loved.