There is a scene in Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol, where the ghost of Christmas past takes Scrooge to a scene from his youth, a party hosted by his boss, Mr. Fezziwig (GREAT name!) To me, that warmth, laughter and merriment is Christmas. It is the essence, the very spirit that haunts my soul every year around this time.
Christmas is a lot of things to a lot of people but it’s not a thing where one person, or group of people can claim ownership, although, some will try. I’m not religious in any way. In fact my views of religion, or rather my understanding of it, can run at right angles to what resides in mouldy print.
I have a respect for that aspect of it, but I would say my ideas are more old-fashioned, more about community than reverence. I like the idea that it is a celebration of the season, of the winter solstice, of giving thanks for those that make life richer through kindness, compassion and laughter.
It is also a celebration of those that are no longer with us, a carrying on of traditions passed down through generations and adapted minutely by the following generations. Traditions formed by love, by family and by friends. It is embracing your fellow-man regardless of their beliefs. Eyes wide open with an accepting psyche.
To me it is hot apple cider, squinting at the Christmas tree to make sure the lights are just right. It’s scented candles, candies and treats. It is finger food, a fire in the hearth and the smiling faces of family and friends. Above all, it is that din of laughter and conversation that fills the house and the heart. Loud enough that those no longer with us can hear. The spirits of Christmas’s past.
There is a sparkle in the air and in my little girls eyes that make me believe. The Grinch’s heart CAN grow three sizes, Scrooge can change his ways, Santa can fit down the chimney, that there is still good in the hearts of all people.
If that is what God wanted us to get, to take the time to pause and understand, then I believe In the Spirit of Christmas.
Merry Christmas. I wish for your homes to be filled with the warmth, laughter and family no matter what you celebrate. Take time to look around and absorb it and maybe even dance to “Sir Roger de Coverley” like Old Fezziwig.