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The Spirits of Christmas
By Elizabeth Horner

Sometimes during the heat of summer, I’ll hum a few bars of “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night” to myself. It’s never by design, and I’ll switch over to a pop or country song as soon as I realize how off-key I am … or I get this little embarrassing feeling of how off-season I’m being but the words will still cycle through my head: Dashing through the snow… making spirits bright. What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight.

Just when I think I have about exhausted singing the same verses over and over again, then a familiar chorus comes over the television, our car radio, airwaves in shopping centers, and sometimes someone in front or behind me in a line will start singing under his/her breath… and I am there, doing it right along with the person.  It’s not the music that’s infectious but rather the feeling of being free and merry.

For a few precious days around the Christmas Season, the world appears to lessen or avoid their squabbles and focus on their faith, buying and giving gifts for their loved ones, preparing scrumptious meals for family and friends. Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm, all is bright.  However, reality bursts in far too quickly. As everyone returns to work and school, faces washed of their easy smiles…, we call the holiday season officially over. Songs are replaced mostly by lyrics about finding love, handling heartbreaks, or surviving struggles. Hardly anyone recalls Santa Claus though he sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake, he knows when you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!

It seems a tragedy that just because we’ve allocated a certain time to counting our blessings and checking them twice, we think we’ve been given a license to forget the rest of the year. The pacts we make not to argue with one another over petty issues break by the time the decorations are put away. Why? Who says we have to give up the Christmas spirit at all? I understand that it is hard to be optimistic in times of economic, political or family turmoil, but that should give us all the more reason to fight for the precious unattainable diamond that is… hope…and love….  We conjure it up as we linger under mistletoe or bend to open a present, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do the same in June, July, and August while waiting for a cooling breeze.

So the next time I sense a Christmas carol lingering on my lips, forgive me if I don’t try to squelch the impulse. I don’t see those lyrics as out of place.  Happy Christmas, Epic Holidays, Blissful and Merry New Year to all … let’s allow tidings of comfort and joy all year round!!!


 
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