It’s been a long year. The violence of terrorist attacks around the world and a contentious election has everybody searching for some Christmas spirit. But what is it, and more importantly, where do you find it? The best description I have read sounds like it could be a line out of a Hallmark Channel movie: “It’s in your heart. It feels warm and glowy. You can’t buy it, and you can’t get it from anybody else.”
The Christmas spirit is inside us all, and it transcends color, gender, sexual orientation, and even religion. It may be a Christian holiday, but what defines the season is the feeling it gives us. It’s a time best spent with family, for giving of oneself, and for allowing yourself to feel the joy.
Unfortunately, too many of us have fallen victim to the commercialization and hassle of it. We buy expensive gifts instead of thoughtful ones and look at the travel to see family and friends as a burden. Christmas shopping is loathed, from finding parking at the local mall to dealing with impatient shoppers and rude salespeople. We hate putting up the tree and having to buy new lights we were certain worked when we tucked them away for eleven months. The ones that do always seem to work themselves into a tangled mess that takes an hour to unwind.
Because of the demands on our time and bank accounts, the Christmas spirit has become increasingly elusive. For those who have it, you could remove the trees, lights, and ornaments and there will still be happiness. You could take away the presents and there would still be joy.
We need to bring that back. America needs to return to a place where we are kind to the people around us, not cutting them off on the roads. We need to sing carols, not sling insults. The most generous nation on earth must learn that it’s not money that makes one charitable; it’s time, compassion and effort.
This holiday season, I challenge you to take one small step towards this ideal. To find your Christmas spirit by spending more time with family. Give of yourself and expect nothing in return. Hold doors for people. Let cars pull in to traffic. Be patient. Enjoy the lights and appreciate the season.
Most of all, I want everyone to find their Christmas spirit.
Merry Christmas, and a joyous season to all.