The Holiday Spirit

I blogged a couple of days ago about not being in the holiday spirit. Since then, I have heard from so many people that they feel the same. That's given me reason to think and I'm always one to share what I think.

Remember a few years ago? The holidays were special. Stressful or peaceful, didn't matter. They were a special time. The rest of the year was kinda bland, and then there were the holidays. You could look forward to them. Everyone was anxious for the holidays and excited to see them draw near

Today, we are so bombarded with stimulation; every day hangs heavy with the possibility of doom. The news networks and the politicians have had us so excited and anxious for so long that holidays can't even compete in the anxiety/excitement arena. Holy Roly-Poly.

A few days ago, a friend and follower sent me an email. She lives in Israel. She asked me if I was going to wear my Chanukah apron this year. It took me back a bit. (Thank you Sarah.) A holiday tradition that is so specific to me and my family that it made me sit back and take some thought...and bless her for remembering it.

First, the holidays are not about the presents or the wrapping paper. It's not about the gift count or who can run up the most credit debt or who gets the most holiday greetings. I give my family gifts all the time. But, there are traditions that I can't box up that are the real meaning of the holidays for us. And, they're the things I have to not lose sight of. For us, it's about over abundant food and time spent together and time spent apart and shopping trips (not the buying, but the being together away from home), board games, and candy making and holiday dishes and yes, my blue Chanukah apron. It's about the Camelias that only bloom during Christmas week and Sydney's pink cactus that she doesn't realize is about to burst into bloom, as predictable as the turning of the calendar. It's cold, blustery, rainy days and wondering if the homeless can stay warm. It's about handing out; out the car window, across the street, into the red kettle; where ever my hand can reach. It's about singing the beloved carols and putting up the decorations that have become wrapped up in the tradition for our kid. It's about building people up and doing things that I don't usually do.

And, it's not about worrying whether the stock market will crash or Iran will bomb or whether any candidate for president will actually try to do what they say, good or bad. It's not my business to worry about Sandusky or the grandma in Florida that tried to kill her daughter's ex or whether gary busey cried on celebrity wife swap. I feel sorry for the professionals that have to think about things like that at this time of year (busey has gotta be a holiday bummer!) But, I don't have to think about it and I don't have to know more than I want to know and mostly, that's about it not being any of my business.


I'm not saying I'm going to stick my head in the sand and pretend there are not significant threats in the world. But, I am saying, I've got a kid and the most important thing that I want to have going on right now is sharing with her the good traditions that I remember from all the Christmas holidays of my life. And, hoping that one day, she'll share the good ones with her kids. And, so on. And, in a way, my Grandmother and my Mother and I will live on as long as turkey and dressing.

So, I pulled my apron out this morning and hung it on the hook in the kitchen. Step 1.

Oh what fun
It is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh.



Becky said...

Delightful thoughts! Have a great day!

Michelle said...

I loved your thoughts today. I have no idea what the stock market is doing, or who shot who in the news, or who is even running for president. Maybe my head is in the sand, but I feel safe there, and I can keep 'upbeat' that way. The world will go on whether I know what is going on or not, and worry is not part of who I am. If one day I evaporate, or my life ends due to something I know nothing about, I don't have to worry, because I never saw it coming.

I'm all for living life being cheerful, and treating others the way I want to be treated and thanking God for every blessing I receive and being loved by those who love me, and returning that love to them.

Have a wonderful weekend, Lane, and enjoy this wonderful time of year with Sydney and Rob.

PattiLynn said...

Bless your friend Sarah for asking, it's so wonderful how it caused you to think about what you value most about Christmas... how fortunate you are to have someone to share your life with and that y'all have a great kid to pass on all the special traditions to.

Somedays I just turn off the Tv, it makes me so anxious. I miss it, but it's a bad habit to have when I overdose on the news etc.

Gotta a pic of the Chanukah apron? Would love to see the chef wearing it! :-)

~ PattiLynn

Kathleen said...

Oh how true - and challenging for those of us who don't have children to prompt us!!

I saw a quote that went "When you stop believing in Santa Claus you get underwear." !!!

A good reminder to keep putting out that true holiday spirit, eh?? Hope you get no underwear this holiday.

Seraphinalina said...

So very true.

Anonymous said...

I was delighted to hear some honest thinking about this strange time of year when we are forced to be 'jolly' and where the film industry has not helped us to get a grip on the real business of what it is to have an agreed time to spend time with those who have chosen to be a family. I think about this a lot as I am a teacher and spend quite a bit of time with a lovely teenager who has to live in a 'home' well away from her biological (but a bit silly) mother and comes to my school. I have made her a quilt for 'this time of year'. I think I did it because I had need for her to understand that someone really cares for her. I hope that she takes it away when our school year is finished and she goes on with her life and I am left wondering who will contine to think about the choices that she makes in life and cares about them. Here's to caring about what happens to people! Is that what this season is all about?

regan said...

I'm so glad you said what you did, Lane. It sums it up very nicely.

I hope you have some really wonderful family time this holiday. Enjoy!


Libby said...

I really enjoyed your post! Have a great weekend with your family!