Tuesday, November 24, 2009

In the Spirit of the Holiday

The holiday season approaches and people are gearing up for time with friends, family and a hint of gluttony. Food, drink and merriment reign supreme and many people will have the opportunity to enjoy themselves. All the traditions that that will be celebrated makes one feel as though the multicultural melting pot has finally simmered long enough to be possible.

I have always clung to my Christian upbringing myself. Making time for Christmas hasn’t always been easy but I’ve managed to enjoy it more often than not. The world often conspires to quash the holiday spirit and people really do have to struggle to find joy in light of tragedies. Maybe this effort makes the happiness all the sweeter but I believe strongly that people should do what they can for others in these times.

Charity begins at home they say. I can recall the scent of pine trees burning in the hearth in my youth. The warmth of the house was built upon with the gentle glow of candlelight and gas lamp. Food was bountiful most of the time and so the aroma of roast potatoes mingled with turkey in such a way that the entire body reacted with hunger.

The years have made such indulgences as a holiday meal impractical but the nostalgia and excitement can still be captured. Three lifetimes worth of living can’t quell a tingling moment of happiness when gazing upon a well appointed tree or the smiles of children staring at mysterious wrapped boxes.

Even vicariously, I can enjoy all of these things. I’m finally in a place where I can indulge some holiday spirit first hand but if I was asked, I would urge everyone to embrace this festive time of year and put everything in that you want back. Live well, treat others with respect and offer charity as you can. At the risk of sounding preachy or even sappy, life is short and celebrations are often few and far between.

Remember what happened to Scrooge. You always have a chance to change but if you’re feeling grumpy about the whole affair now, take a page from his book. There are far less regrets in happiness than you might think.

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