Well, my Christmas trees are lit up and decorated. My home sparkles of gold and smells of pine. I am a ‘home for the holidays’ type of gal. I know, old-fashioned and completely un-cool.
Now, I know the “in” thing these days is to point out all the commercialism that encompasses the holidays, kind of like a word search or a Where’s Waldo. It has become almost amusing to sit over a Starbuck's latte complaining about the holiday shit this and that while watching people do the hustle and bustle. Ahgggg . . . there’s the shoulder-to-shoulder shopping in the crowded malls; the bumper car parking lots; Santas who are too skinny; the one hundred or so renditions of “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire” played over and over again; higher rates of suicide and depression; news papers exploding with advertising inserts; pounds of catalogs; no friggin’ roasted chestnuts or open fires anywhere to be had; long lines; long lists; short tempers.
I realize that this time of year brings out extremes in behavior, character flaws and a Pandora’s Box of emotions. Oh, the pressures. Oh, the headaches. Oh, the heartaches.
So what am I so happy about? I definitely feel the financial strain, the pressures to get it all done and still look shiny and new - to get my cards out on time, my cookies baked and my gifts bought, wrapped and hidden away. I have many moments of nostalgia, thinking about Christmas’ past and all of my loved ones who are not here with me to celebrate the present one. At times I do feel melancholy and a bit overwhelmed. Wow, I think I am beginning to convince myself that the holidays suck!
But, on the other hand (the one still resting in a full and quiet pocket) I love this time of year. The crazy holiday pace dizzies me just enough that I step off and rediscover my real point of reference . . . mySelf. And in doing so, I stop the planet. I see beyond the blurred images. I see the beating of compassionate hearts. I see the gift of the Nativity. I see God incarnate.
This time of year evokes the virtues of compassion, helpfulness, thoughtfulness, thankfulness, love and generosity lifting the human spirit to the place it really lives. ‘Tis the season of giving. Volunteer services are filled to capacity; people are donating to organizations such as Toys for Tots, Coats for Kids and homeless shelters. Soup kitchens have more than enough help; hospital and nursing home patients are entertained by carolers. There is a lot of good in the air . . . even if some of that good air does get blown around by high pressure gusts of fervor.
If we could extend those giving hands and compassionate hearts into each New Year, Christmas would not come in with such a bang (and on the tail wind of a witch’s broom November 1) only to leave in the blink of an eye and ten pounds later. Christmas would become state of mind rather then a time of year. That is what the spirit of Christmas is really all about.
For a beautiful and heartfelt posting on Christmas, visit Laura’s blog