By Arlene Jones
Merry Christmas! Those two words are currently among the least spoken from Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve. There was a time when those words served as a communal greeting to one and all until the actual event. The season was furthered emphasized by stores who had their Christmas music playing and Santa everywhere.
Today, the only remaining vestige of the season is the partial frenzy of Christmas shopping, beginning on Black Friday and then sputtering out thereafter. I have noticed that even the stores are no longer dressed in holiday cheer with bright lights outlining the buildings! It is sad and disheartening to see the level to which this holiday season is going. It's all about spending money on gifts and no longer about a savior who was born in Bethlehem.
I have to admit I'm also guilty of not putting out lights for the past 10 years. I still maintain my tradition of wearing my Santa hat from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Day. But I don't see many others doing it? Why?
I can no longer depend on others to give me the Christmas spirit. I have to create it for myself. So I wish people a "Merry Christmas" when I see them whether they respond in kind or not. I placed a wreath on my back door because it's the one I use the majority of the time coming in from the garage.
I have a small artificial tree and I am going to put it up. Yes, it's a lot of work for only 10 days or so, but if I am to get the Christmas spirit, I've got to make the effort.
I've only gotten one Christmas card in the mail. I can't even recall the last time I sent one. There was a time when we took a lot of joy in just seeing the cards that someone would send. People spent a lot of money buying them and even more time picking out the "just right" card to outdo the one they had sent the year before.
What Christmas traditions do you participate in? I need inspiration for next year. I believe I said the same thing last year. I promised myself I would do better, but the evil reality of job loss, illness and complications of struggling to stay afloat is truly the main culprit. I do have a choice though. I can give in to my struggles and let them overwhelm me or I can "keep on pushing" and not allow the obstacles being placed in my path to slow me down. You all know me. It will be the latter and not the former!
So join me in making a personal commitment to do better in at least one thing during this holiday season. Find a Santa's hat at the dollar store and put it on. Take a moment to put up a decoration around the house just to acknowledge the season. Find a church home and partake of a sermon that feeds your soul. Acknowledge the "reason for the season" and use it as the basis for all you do and say.
Answer Book 2017
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