Christmas: a feeling, a smell, a taste; a looking outside yourself

This is my last newspaper column for the year–anyone who made a contribution to my Christmas spirit is thanked with greatefulness (not a spelling mistake)–due to space I had to edit, edit, edit–but hope you enjoy:

“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” ~ Edna Ferber

This week, I put out plea on both Facebook and my blog asking for some suggestions to boost my flagging Christmas spirit. I wrote: “I am asking for your help during this season of merriment. I have one more Christmas column to write before the newspaper goes on Christmas vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year’s and I was wondering if you could provide me with a little inspiration. Tell me what makes your Christmas spirit sing–or give me some suggestions on how to give my flagging spirit some renewed energy. Christmas is my favourite time of year–but with all the bad news in the media lately, I need a little boost.”

First—the responses from my blog: Mimi told me that “we are donating to our grown children’s charities of choice this year instead of giving gifts.” She said that what lifted her spirits to great heights was the enthusiasm her boys showed for the idea.

Cindy said that she was interested in seeing the replies to this request as her spirits were a bit low too. Then she rethought her reply and said that “chocolate always raises my spirits.”

My sister, who is a faithful follower of my blog said: “I know this sounds trite in view of the atrocities that have transpired in Pakistan…but doing for others is food for the soul and right now my soul is hungry…..maybe a little chocolate and red wine too.”

Diane said that she suspected that a lot of people needed some spirit-lifting but the thing that worked most effectively for her is “Time and memories and laughs with friends and family.” She also had some sage advice for me: “there is still within (mankind) goodness, kindness and love. It just doesn’t make the news as much….”

Another blogger says that she has been “doing Secret Santa stuff that has given her personally a great deal of satisfaction.” She sends out cash and small gifts anonymously to those in need, and then writes them a note to tell them how they have touched her life.

Lillian is waiting for her whole family to get home to put up the tree. She believes that “The process is as much fun as the final product since looking at all our old, mostly homemade ornaments brings up a lot of memories and conversations.”

Brigitte tells us to remember Linus’s speech from the Charlie Brown Christmas special when he explains what Christmas is all about. His telling of the Christmas story puts it all in perspective: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, ‘Fear not: for behold, I bring unto you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'”

From my Facebook friends:

Missy believes that Christmas is about acknowledging that there are Christmas miracles; Kim says that the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loudly for all to hear and to share that joy with Seniors; Mary and Tina agree with her—Mary going on to say that we should “Forget ourselves and bring cheer to others.”

Bob says that Christmas is made merrier for him by doing Christmas bird counts. He says that for him it is “a tradition as much a part of the season as Christmas carols, Santa Claus, and turkey dinner.” (I am assuming here that Bob is not counting turkeys.)

My niece Chay advises “Find some little kids to hang around with–that will put anyone in the spirit”. Her spirit is also lifted by “going to a pub while the snow is falling and drinking your favourite beer with your better half while Christmas music plays and you know the last of your Christmas shopping is done!”

My Christmas spirit was lifted as much by those who took the time to respond as what their responses were. This is a magical time of the year—when miracles come to the fore, when the sounds and tastes and smells of Christmas remind us of the wonder that we celebrate.

Here is wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the hope that your grandmother will not be run over by a reindeer spooked by carolling (howling) dogs singing “Jingle Bells.”

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Published in: on December 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm  Comments (16)  

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I like your last wish about a reindeer being spooked… that’s good to mention .. I’ll make sure my little pooch has something over his ears Christmas Eve… because I wouldn’t want to scare away Santa. I just know he has something special for me this year…..Yes, I still believe in Santa!…. (Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!) Diane

  2. You had great responses….made for a uplifting read!

  3. Great post LouAnn! I found something that really helped my spirit even after my Christmas tree fell over Saturday night and the water in the stand soaked a bunch of presents. It was my son, Bryan, and his sensitive, caring side. He wrapped his arms around me as I stood crying over the mess and said, “It’s ok Mom. Just think of how much worse it could have been. We got to the presents in time and nothing was damaged, and only two ornaments broke and they weren’t any of your special ones.” My heart filled with joy as I hugged him back because he is so very special to me, and family is truly what matters at this time of year isn’t it?

    • aw–that is so sweet–and if your tree had not fallen down you would not have had the special moment with your son–which is one you will forever remember

  4. Happy Holidays LouAnn!! One wish under my menorah? That you and I meet one of these days…

  5. Enjoy the holidays with your family this season! We’re supposed to be getting a balmy, sunshine-y Christmas this year (as most of our Californian Christmases have been) and though it’s probably too much to hope for where you are, I still hope that you all will keep warm and cozy at home (or wherever you may be). 🙂 And thank goodness for good food on the table!

    • Er, I meant its likely too much to hope for warm sunshine in your neck of the woods. I really wish WP would get on with making a comment editing feature because this double-reply thing to clarify comments is getting old.

  6. I beautiful post.
    I love the suggestions.
    We’ve done a few of those within our family.
    It truly is nice to give & to do for others.
    Merry Christmas!
    {Hugs}

  7. Merry Christmas, LouAnn I hope your spirits are soaring with the holiday mood now that you’ve had such amazing answers.

    • Merry Christmas Lois–thanks for stopping by–it is nice to hear from old friends–I have not been keeping up very well–but glad to hear from you

  8. We can always find a spot of gratitude in each day — so many sage words in this post. It has been a tough season with so much darkness in the news. Merry Christmas LouAnn!


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