The Elusive Spirit (ms)

It seems harder each year to get excited about Christmas. I suppose there are a lot of reasons for that: the weather turns cold, the days grow short, the darkness of night seems especially dark. I think one of the main reasons, though, is that there are no kids in the house.

Children have an aura of happiness around them this time of year and once you get close to them you can’t help but become trapped by it. Soon enough it spreads from you to another and so on; before long entire neighborhoods can become covered with Christmas joy. That is what makes Christmas such an enjoyable time of year. Of course it is not to say no kids, no Christmas, it is just that it becomes more difficult to find.

See, I guess it is that if you have no kids you must then search for the meaning of the holiday in the real world where the pickings are slim. Murder, mayhem and mishap around every turn, a page turning detective/action/adventure novel where the casualties are real and leave nothing but memories in their passing. If one is forced to feed on only that with sides of political graft and government bureaucracy washed down with a delightful cocktail of incompetence and greed it’s easy enough to find the well of Christmas spirit bone dry. One wanders the streets, then, with the bitter taste of Christmas now ever present and the sweet joy of it a small compartment to the side, one opened less and less as time skates by faster and faster.

There are, however, moments that help put even the most jaded citizen in the holiday spirit, moments that can happen only this time of year, moments that seem so appropriate, so deliciously good. The rough looking kid who holds the door with a smile for a passing senior citizen. The face of a child who sees Santa for the very first time. The warm greeting of an old friend newly home for the holidays. All simple. All inconsequential. All ordinary. Not one to be given a second thought unless you are of the writing ilk and spend your time viewing the world up close. They are out there if one is willing to look.

So, I spend a lot of time looking these days before Christmas. I ignore the financial world, the political world, the criminal world and focus as much as I can on the good stuff of life. That means taking a look at the ordinary real people who live around the block or in the next neighborhood. There you will undoubtedly find good people who do everything they’re supposed to and enjoy especially this season of the year for having done so. These are the kinds of people I seek for in them is the true spirit of the season. The pleasure of their company is a pleasure indeed and something that makes me happy in a time when happiness is in short supply.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on December 12, 2011.

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