Sixty eight days from today will be Christmas Day. In the United States, this is not only a religious holy day, but also a State and Federal holiday.
It is also one of those days which is a family day, like Thanksgiving, where families and friends gather to enjoy each other’s company, sharing stories, eating, drinking and giving presents to each other. For some, Christmas Eve is also a celebration of family and friends. For others, some people need to swill extra-spiked egg nog or other “holiday” beverage to help them cope with the season to be merry.
Starting, generally, with Thanksgiving, especially after Santa closes the parade, we will hear Christmas songs on the radio, watch Christmas movies on TV, and perhaps, go to the movies to watch this year’s major motion picture release of a new story which tries to inspire us with a message involving kindness, love for each other and general good cheer. By now, the shopping channels have been holding weekend Christmas purchasing specials and other “unscheduled” gift events to remind us it won’t be long now.
Some cable channels have begun pulling popular Christmas movies from their libraries and showing them several times a week. This past week, Elf, Miracle on 34th St, Family Christmas and the first two Home Alone movies were on. And I watched them.
It seems to me that Christmas is the one time each year that we all seem to go that extra little bit to show each other the part of us which knows, deep inside, that we want peace on earth and good will to all. It is too bad the feelings we have in December are not with us throughout the year. That is the meaning of good will to all.
In years past, I was one of those people who had the lights on the house by Halloween weekend. By Veterans Day, the front yard was just about done and on Thanksgiving Eve, the lights went on for the first time. I actually enjoyed the time I used to do this. It was therapy, an opportunity to clear my head of all the banking stuff rolling around up there. But because I did this, I also was able to gain clarity on those issues which were puzzling me at my desk, and go in on Monday with renewed vigor.
Many of us have begun shopping for presents to give our loved ones, and by so doing, that act helps us get into the Christmas spirit. And understand this about me, when I say Christmas rather than holiday, it is not only a religious belief of mine, but it is also a spiritual more that makes me who I am. “Holiday” is too politically correct and sterile for me and I choked on the term “Happy Holidays” when I was in banking. Instead, I say Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or Joyous Kwanzaa as the term fits the person I am addressing. There is nothing wrong in greeting and wishing the appropriate term for a specific holiday.
So, in closing, I hope you, too, will enjoy this festive time of the year as you rush through the stores or shop online for the perfect gift for your special someone. It isn’t a chore; instead, if you start at least thinking about what to get him or her or them, by the time you are ready to purchase, the hard part is done and you won’t be one of those people shopping at 8pm on December 23 and panicking because the next day is Christmas Eve.
Then you will be able to enjoy the Most Wonderful Time of the Year with nary a worry bouncing inside your head.