Christmas Spirit

It is Christmas time, the time of the year some people look forward to with trepidation, especially this year.  The pressure is on, time for all the heart warming family gatherings, big beautiful evergreen trimmed with garlands and lights that work, Grandpa carving the turkey, kids stealing candy canes and peeking into packages, snow softly falling outside, fire burning in the fireplace with stockings hung with care.  This ever happen at your house?

Our tree was wired to the wall, some pet always managed to steal some turkey before it was on the side table, toys broke or froze in the snow.  My 1st Barbie, 1962, took her outside, her one boob fell in, I hid her for days till it popped back out so afraid I would get in trouble for breaking Barbie on Day 1.  Really, it was fun, all day long, "Linda, show Aunt Whoever was there your new Barbie." "She is sleeping, needs a nap."  So happy when she woke up, aka, the boob came back out.

Grandpa was asleep in the corner (don't change the tv channel), the newly melted snow was nothing but brown mud, candy canes are long gone and a spark from the fire burned the stockings. Since none of us were good little kids, the stockings had coal in them so they burned for awhile and heated the house because the furnace quit at 2am when Santa came down the chimney.  My house, and I would not trade it for the world. 

The point of all this reminiscing, Christmas is a spirit.  It is not a gift, a Hallmark movie, a commercial, or even a visit home.  It is the spirit you emit.  The one day of the year it is actually frowned upon to be sad, or mean, or selfish, or right.  It is a day and season to celebrate the joy and miracle of life, the gift we are given by being born, the gift we give to others via love, and the gift of our King, Jesus Christ.  It really doesn't matter if you spend Christmas Day alone or surrounded by a crowd of people, Christmas is inside you to give and receive. What you choose to give and receive is up to you.

One Christmas I decided to be alone.  It was a wonderful Christmas.  I spent it holding my baby, watching it snow, thinking about love and how lucky I was to know true love and friendship; how rich my life was, the opportunities I was given, the support I have been shown.  I wasn't being Scrooge, I did have plans that day, but did you ever travel on Christmas with a baby in a snowstorm? The baby was 10 months old, he didn't know it was Christmas, spaghetti worked for me, staying home with Mama worked for him.

I am Christian and pray to Jesus, this is the time of the year we celebrate his birth.  I always believed the star was the spirit guiding the way for all of us and shows itself to us every year to remind us of the birth of our King and our duty to serve that King with love, hope, and faith.  Love is a verb, Jesus shows me that. The Christmas spirit is a gift to us all and we accept that gift to give and receive.

Today is the winter solstice, a holiday I always look forward to every year, the shortest day of the year, which always means days full of light are coming.

"The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold a powerful energy for regeneration, renewal and self-reflection. In Pagan times the winter solstice was referred to as Yule and was a celebration of the Goddess (Moon) energy."

Having covered Christian and Pagan beliefs, may I share the spirit with you and wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, reflective Winter Solstice, and a Happy New Year.  Much love to you all.