Too many decorations. Too many stylish TV commercials suggesting a Lexus as the perfect gift for the wife that puts up with your nonsense all year. Too many presents. Too much food. Too, too much all-around greed that gets in the way of the things the holidays are meant to celebrate: love, togetherness, connections, hope, care …
And, there are the companions – the too littles: Too little charity, too little compassion, too little faith in the light of the human soul.
Yet every season, when I fear the Christmas Spirit has finally passed me by – when I think that the frenetic shopping, and the Black Friday orgies; the ten pound newspapers (9.6 lbs of ads, thank you paperboy! I won’t forget your bonus.); the grown women fighting over mall parking spaces; the miles of evergreen carcasses have finally killed Christmas – there comes a moment that resurrects the yuletide spirit in my soul.
Sometimes it’s a song on the radio. Sometimes it’s a quiet candle glowing in a window, or the moon shining blue on the snow. Maybe it’s Linus articulating, or George Bailey rediscovering the meaning of Christmas. Or, my new holiday favorite Love Actually (I always tear up at the Portuguese restaurant scene). At that moment, in whatever form it comes, my soul literally opens up like a flower, and I remember:
“Oh! THIS is Christmas!”
This year, my moment came when CNN paused long enough in it’s coverage of the economic crises, with its stock markets and bailouts and holiday lay-offs to find another angle. It seems children are writing to Santa (the one who lives in the Post Office) to ask not for Wiis or the last Bratz® Dolls or games or balls or chartreuse cell phones.
No, they are writing something like this:
I am not writing for toys this year. My Dad lost his job. Do you think you could bring him a new one? We had to move in with my Grand Ma and Pop-Pop. If Dad gets a new job, we can move back into our house. That would be cool. Also, my baby sister needs diapers and wipes. My Mom needs medicine for her asthma, and I would like a new coat, because my old one is too small. My grandma makes good dinners, but needs more food for all of us. Hope that’s not too much to ask.