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In the Spirit of Things
December 7, 2011 - Michelle Oliver
Don’t know why. Don’t care why. Wish I could bottle it can keep it, though. This year I am in a particularly upbeat and throw-caution-to-the-wind kind of Christmas Spirit – which I think alarms my husband just a bit. I think “giddy” might be descriptive in a Charles Dickens sort of way, but it is a bit uncharacteristic based on my stoic German upbringing.
I ALWAYS love and appreciate and revere Christmas. I have never had a bad Christmas unless you count the one when my brother and I both had the measles. And I have never had trouble “getting into” the Spirit of the Christmas season, but some years have been more festive and energetic while others were more quiet and contemplative.
Last year I was content to put up the tree (which we always do right after Thanksgiving), set up the Nativity, put a few standard decorations in the living room, and call it good.
This year I am digging out Christmas boxes I haven’t cracked open since we moved over 3 years ago and I’m finding Christmas treasures that I haven’t seen since long before they were packed. I’ve actually found a few things that I didn’t even remember we had – so it’s like having brand new things without spending the money!
All those ornaments made by my now adult children are still hanging in there thanks to the gallons of Elmer’s glue that would allow them to withstand a bridge demolition, and all will have their many places of honor on the tree. We always include candy canes on the tree that the kids enjoy munching on and I even toyed with the idea of stringing popcorn for the tree, which I haven’t done in over 20 years, but the idea of dogs and pre-schoolers trying to eat the tree made me rethink that one.
I am sooooooooo ready to make each and every room a Christmas room this year. I have big plans and I am not afraid to use them! The best and biggest plans will enlist the help of Tommy and Maddie Kay who are getting old enough now to help Grandma bring Christmas to the house and transform each room into something special, because it only happens once a year. But, the biggest and best plan is the time I get to spend helping my grandchildren learn and understand that the most special thing about Christmas is the baby who came, the gift of God which saves and transforms each of us, and is never restricted to just a day, a week or even a month of our lives, but is intended to be with us every moment that we choose to remember Him and keep Him in our hearts.
And I appreciate the quiet times that I can use, not only to learn about and respect our family’s faith, culture, and traditions, but also to learn about and respect Hanukah and Kwanza, while explaining that there are other times of the year which are very important and special to other religions and cultures as Christmas is to us.
Merry Christmas Tommy, Maddie Kay, and baby Harlow. I love you. May you always know and keep the spirit of the Christmas season, and know and show good will to all men.
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