“Oh, Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind…” (Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street)
The day everyone has been waiting for is just about here: Christmas Day, a day that is often referred to as ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’ Many movies have been made about it: Miracle on 34th Street, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story. Books have been written about it – A Christmas Carol (Dickens), The Night Before Christmas (Moore) and even How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Seuss). And songs and carols like O Holy Night, Santa Claus is Coming to Town and Jolly Old Saint Nicholas have been sung about it.
For children, the day means that Santa Claus has visited some time in the wee hours of the night and, if they’ve been good girls and boys all year, he’s deposited toys beneath their Christmas tree.
All those long weeks of waiting and hoping are finally here. Brightly wrapped gifts can finally be opened, stockings will be unstuffed and a veritable Christmas feast will be consumed filling bellies with warm, delicious nourishment until all that’s left is a wee bit of room for a piece of Christmas candy or chocolate. The waiting is finally over.
The waiting and anticipation were for a different reason all those many, many years ago, waiting for a Baby to be born in Bethlehem …
It was this birth, some 2,000-odd years ago, that gives the Christian world cause to celebrate and rejoice at this time of year. Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, the day that God sent his only Son to save the world.
Whether celebrating the birth of Christ or the arrival of Santa – or both – Christmas is finally here. It is often said that Christmas is for the kids. We agree that while the visit from Santa may be for the young, the season is for all ages. It is a time for slowing down, spending time with cherished loved ones and families, for togetherness, for paying it forward. It is also a time for forgiveness, human compassion and generosity.
It is these latter thoughts that sometimes get forgotten in the hustle and bustle and frenzy during the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. We are sometimes so busy filling a shopping cart with merchandise and marking items off a wish list that we forget the reason for the season. We sometimes forget to say please and thank you, and more importantly, I care or I’m sorry.
This year, our wish is that we all take a little time to appreciate the things that truly matter: family, friends and loved ones, a simple act of kindness for someone, a smile in greeting, a kind thought for someone who may be alone… These gestures epitomize the true spirit of Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone!
“You see, Mrs. Walker, this is quite an opportunity for me. For the past 50 years or so I’ve been getting more and more worried about Christmas. Seems we’re all so busy trying to beat the other fellow in making things go faster and look shinier and cost less that Christmas and I are sort of getting lost in the shuffle …” (Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street)