Even though I’m not ‘of the faith’, I’ve always loved Christmas. While it has no religious significance for me, I am always buoyed by the ‘spirit’ of it. It’s one of the only ‘holidays’ when families truly make an effort to be together, regardless of the travelling involved. It’s also a cheerful and convivial time.
Friends and neighbours are always invited to drop in, and wherever you go, you’re greeted by the sound of music, laughter, shrieking children, barking dogs, ice tinkling in glasses and cups clattering on saucers.
You’re also met by the most intoxicating scents, and sights: Toasty fires, glowing candles, colourful stockings hanging from mantels, candy canes, nutmeg, cinnamon, hot chocolate and all manner of cookies, baking away in the oven. And even though I know they’re messy, as far as I’m concerned, nothing beats the smell of a real pine tree in the house. Nothing.
Suddenly, the stress leading up to Christmas is gone. And once December 25th finally arrives, everyone’s mood becomes
mellow. It’s time to relax, socialize, indulge, over-indulge and have some fun.
At least that’s the way I usually feel about it.
This year, though, I have to admit I’ve had a hard time getting into it. There’s no snow in Toronto. And while I am no winter enthusiast, having snow on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day makes it more magical. But fear not. By Boxing Day, I’m ready for it to disappear. For good.
The recent events in Connecticut certainly haven’t helped. And let’s face it, we’re not exactly living in jubilant times. There just seems to be so much unrest everywhere. So much unhappiness. Uncertainty. Dissent. The only thing we seem to be willing to agree upon, is to disagree. On everything. It’s a global malaise. There’s no escaping it. And frankly, I’m sick of it.
No wonder it doesn’t feel like Christmas. Christmas is supposed to be about giving. Sharing. Good will. Good cheer. Joy.
We need to get that back. We have to stop fighting. We have to change our ways and reduce the huge gap between those who have everything, and those who have nothing. We have to be reasonable. Respectful. And resourceful. We have to stop butting heads; and instead, put them together so we can find solutions. And if we can’t immediately find it in our hearts to love one another, let’s at least start with learning how to tolerate each other. Accept our differences and move on.
Surely this is something we can do. There are brilliant minds all over the world, we can tap into. Technology is so advanced, and becoming more so every minute of every day, what can’t we access? It’s all at our fingertips. Instantly available.
All we need is the desire. The willingness. The sense. And that’s my Christmas wish this year. So that maybe from here on in, all our Christmases (and all the days preceding and following it) can be bright.
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas”. Calvin Coolidge
Merry Christmas. No matter what you’re doing today, or who you’re with I hope there’s love in your heart. And peace and joy in your life.