Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finally Finding My Lost Christmas Spirit

It’s Christmas time again.

The house is decorated.

The snow keeps on falling.

And all the houses on the street are brightly lit with beautiful lights and decorations.

Norman Rockwell couldn’t have painted a prettier Christmas landscape then our little southern Ontario neighborhood on the Canadian side of the Detroit River.

Our house is all done up inside – the Christmas tree and the holly – the nativity scene set up above the foyer – and the Santa Claus and Rudolph looking out through a window high above the front door – as though they had forgotten where they parked the sled outside underneath the blanket of new fallen snow.

Ya know, Rudolph doesn’t usually actually come in the house with Santa”, I casually observed as my lovely wife Darlene pointed out her newest masterpiece to me.

Bugger, off”, replied my lovely wife. “I like it”.

I like it too.

I think I finally have the spirit.

Oh sure, there is the common yelling and screaming in our house – as there is in any Christmas house with two little girls all wound up in the excitement of Santa’s pending visit.

But no more so than any other house.

At least that’s what I tell myself as one of the girls comes to tattle on what the other has just done to them.

Christmas letters have been written and mailed out to Santa.

Presents have been bought and hidden throughout the house – or the Grandma’s house across town.

Secrets have been told in whispers and shared with others who need to know.

Mistletoe has been hung in strategic locations to encourage random kisses.

And now as Christmas approaches and the kids are out of school, and I am off work until midway through the first week of January, I am finally in the mood to actually embrace Christmas.

The Christmas dinners with colleagues at work and farewells with season greetings as co-workers disappear for the holidays have all taken place.

And now we ready ourselves – steady ourselves - for the final countdown to the craziness of the final days before Santa arrives.

The left over presents that still need to be bought.

The cookies and treats that still need to be baked to be added to the stockpile already placed neatly in decorative seasonal tins across the counters and tables in the Kitchen.

The wrapping and wrapping and more wrapping of presents in pretty papers left in the downstairs closet used only at this time of year.

Crazy.

And then there are the trips to the shopping malls.

I hate shopping malls.

I really hate shopping malls at Christmas time.

Waiting for distant parking spots in the most remote corners of the lot.

Walking through the crowded malls weaving through the traffic while wearing coats and sweaters and sweating profusely while wading through tiny isles to get a better look at gift ideas that don’t transpire into gift purchases.

The pressure. The frenzy. The riled and frayed nerves.

It’s all part of Christmas.

Our capitalistic view of spending that makes our western free-market society continue to work. Thank God for Christmas.

And through all of this – we do forget what this is really all about.

We forget the tidings of good cheer part of Christmas.

We forget the little baby born in a manger in Bethlehem part of Christmas.

We forget about the joy of being together part of Christmas – sometimes because we have spent so much time together through the year that we just drive each other nuts even more as the frenzy of the hype of Christmas hits full swing.

We forget about those important parts. Because the other stuff seems like so much more fun.

Pa rump a bum bum.

I can’t wait.

I can’t wait for all the family to arrive early Chsitmas afternoon, passing out the beers to the men folk and fancy drinks for the ladies. Gathering down by the fireplace with Christmas music playing and a couple games of pool or darts to put some friendly competition in the air.

I can’t wait.

It’s almost here. It just took me a while to catch the spirit.

So on behalf of myself and my family – we would like to extend all of our best holiday wishes to all of you and all of your families during this wondrous holiday season.

Christmas comes but once a year.

Pa rump a bum bum.

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