The other day a friend of mine who is normally cheerful and posts happy things on her Facebook page wrote about her lament for the holiday season. She felt bereft of Christmas Spirit and went on to explain how she normally starts around Halloween getting into the spirit. This year, it was not happening for her at all. I thought I sort of felt the same. That this year seemed to be worse than normal. I do not hate Christmas, I actually enjoy most of the activities. But I do not get all excited about it either. I would find this time of year intolerable if it were not for the lights and decorations. That I really enjoy. I wrote her back and said that the holiday spirit lies within your heart and the magick of Christmas was self-created. She and a few other posters agreed.
I truly believe that whatever Christmas means to you, it is there all year long. Being kind just because it is the season is living a lie. We need to celebrate the accumulation of kindness at the end of the year. And if you were not a kindness practitioner, then two weeks or less is not going to count in the sum of kindness. It should be a way of life.
Currently in my area there is a major fundraising day happening. It is called ROC the day. Many non-profits solicit donations and compete to see how can raise the most. My email account this morning was filled with requests for donations. Why? Because I give all year and they have my name. It is an irritant to me this morning and smacks of the commercialism of this season. I sit next to the foundations department at work and had overheard their plans for the agency plea. It is totally based on the fact that people are trying to make atonement for being unable or refusing to give through the year. ‘Tis the season, so to speak, for guilt. It is the same ploy used to sell products to parents. Does a child really need over a $1000.00 worth of toys that are crap and will be broken in a month? What a waste.
I try to seek avenues to help celebrate the season in the manner less commercial. To me one of the best parts of this holiday season is the music. I play with a recorder group who is the local chapter of the American Recorder Society. Last night was the holiday celebration and recital. My class which consists of two other gals played two songs. We played with our hearts, if not the best technique. One lady in our group who is so lovely in spirit struggles and rarely is playing what is written. But she has such great joy in her “music” that we truly do not care how bad she is. We played on. Then we listened to the rendition of a variety of music from other groups which was exquisite. After all the performances, the circle of about forty or so musicians sight read Christmas carols for about a ½ hour or so. I played what I could as did others, and no one cared how well. It was community at its best. We ended the night chatting and munching on homemade goodies. It had snowed very hard on the way there. As much as I hate driving in snow, it was the pretty fat-flaked kind, often referred to as Christmas snow. It added to the spirit of the evening.
One of the other things I did for the second year in a row is play Mrs. Santa Claus. We open the building to family and friends and we have a Santa who is actually the head of Environmental Services. He grows a white beard every year and has a wonderful Santa suit. But he is Santa in spirit all year long and so it is not a stretch. I do not know how I ended up with the role of being the big Elf’s wife, but it fit. So I donned my Christmas apron which is his wife’s and put my hair up and passed out cookies. This year I was more involved with the children and actually got a share of sticky handed hugs. Oh, it was magickal. The look of joy and hope in the little one’s eyes who know what magick is and still believe is tonic for the season. We are taking our roles on the road in a week and visiting our other facilities in hopes to send a cheerful message. But it is the same message I use all year. “I wish you all good tidings and great joy.”