Since I retired from teaching little ones at our local Catholic School, and the grandsons are older, I think my Christmas Spirit took on a bit of the Grinch. I was getting annoyed at the early Christmas lights, the assault of Christmas commercials, the flurry of Christmas shopping, and the commercialism of the Season. I was missing the little kid spirit of Santa Claus, the jingle of the bells to prove I believe, and the magic of the Nativity Scene with little faces standing in awe of the Baby Jesus.
And then the other day, I had some new thoughts. A light or two dawned in my head. The reason we seem to start the Season so early is that we are longing for something bigger and better than ourselves. We’re tired of the gloom and doom of negativity. Now more than ever.
So this year the lights will mean we will shine as brightly as the Star that guided the Wise Men, simply because we want to be wise, too. We want to figure out all the ways we can live in Peace.
The shopping is really about making our loved ones happy. We want them to know we love them, sometimes more than life itself. They are the reason we get up in the morning. They are the focus of our prayers. They are the ones who give us a reason to live. They are family. They are friends. They are our world.
Even though I sometimes think Christmas music is annoying when it sounds like a rock around the Christmas Tree, there are other melodies that move our hearts to tears because we remember those who are no longer at the table with us. The ones who taught us to tie our shoes and balance our checkbooks. They are the loved ones who made us who we are today. The ones who cheered us on until their last breath. They are the memories of Christmas Past. Music brings them back to life, if only in our hearts.
When I see all the ways we can give to others during this Season, I realize we are a generous people. We actually want that to last all year long. We donate because it’s the right thing to do. It feels good to give to others. Whether it’s a donation, a gift, a shared cookie recipe, or just a smile or a greeting. It matters.
We start early because we want this goodness to stretch out over the whole year so we can be in awe of the people and places who bring us the Light. We long for the Peace the generous heart can give. We want to remember those who’ve gone before us in our cherished memories.
So bring it on. Count me in. Thank you to our sponsor, the Baby Jesus.