A few days before Thanksgiving I was in the post office talking to the postmistress about the upcoming holidays when I told her my Christmas shopping was finished. An older woman, who was also in the post office heard my comment while sorting her mail, glanced up at me and innocently asked, “Where’s your Christmas Spirit?”
I was caught off-guard and as a result I didn’t respond to her. Since then, her comment has been rattling around inside my head like a stone in a bucket and I’ve been trying to find the answer.
I suppose everyone has a different view of what constitutes Christmas Spirit. Mine is not caught up in kamikaze, dead of night shopping frenzies or over-the-top Martha Stewart-like decorating or baking sessions that seem to be the norm these days. For me, it’s all about lessening the stress, the high expectations and anxiety that accompany this time of year. When you stop to think about it there really is no need for all this hoopla.
At first, I was concerned. Have I lost my Christmas Spirit? But then, just this past week as I slipped Narada's, The Christmas Collection CD into my player while baking several batches of cookies, the answer quietly and magically appeared without fanfare.
So, for me, here is what Christmas Spirit is all about:
Listening to Christmas music as I bake cookies and breads for family and friends.
Spending time with my husband and daughter and son-in-law
and other family and friends.
Making and sending Christmas cards.
Giving anonymously to a family, especially those with young children,
who are less fortunate.
Singing “Silent Night” after Christmas Eve Mass
and thinking of my beloved late mother-in-law who so loved this carol.
Remembering those who’ve passed on.
Enjoying a White Christmas if we’re fortunate to have one.
Standing outside on a cold winter’s night
gazing at the stars and quietly becoming one with the night.
I’m sure if I put a little more thought into it, I could come up with a few more but these are the ones that . . . quietly and magically appeared without fanfare.
My hope for you is your Christmas Spirit is alive and well however you define it.