The spirit of Christmas


With Christmas just two days away, the spirit of the holiday is
all around us.
With Christmas just two days away, the spirit of the holiday is all around us.

Shoppers throng the streets and pour into stores decorated in a yuletide theme while cash registers jingle a counterpoint to “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.” Customers jostle each other to get to the diminishing stocks of gifts.

Parties abound at offices and factories and workers bemoan the caloric intake even as they reach for another slice of pie or glass of eggnog.

Television also reflects the season with showings of “A Christmas Carol,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” as well as what seems to be an incessant number of stories about cartoon characters and even alien life forms thwarting the forces that would destroy the holiday.

The Christmas-oriented commercials that began in October are by now familiar messages that our brains have managed to block out.

But although all that has become part of the seasonal occasion, it is by no means the most important facet of it.

Look around you to affirm what is essential to Christmas. See children meeting Santa Claus for the first time and watch the light in their eyes as they come face-to-face with him. See the shining eyes of their parents or grandparents accompanying them as they remember the children they were years earlier.

The spirit of Christmas is embodied by many of your friends and neighbors and in people of your community whom you may not know but whom you may pass daily on your way to work or home.

They are people like Marley Holte, Mary Hubbell and John Rose, whose commitment to others gives them a sense of Christmas year-round. Richard Guzman is among their number as are Peggy Corrales and Gayle Sleznick.

Regard the Santos’ of San Juan Bautista and the Tree of Life and you see the manifest expressions of hope and remembrance. At many churches throughout the county you may observe the story of the first Christmas told over and over with children in bathrobes and sandals holding shepherd’s crooks and a doll symbolizing the babe of Bethlehem. One or two of the young actors may fluff their lines but they have a sure hold on the spirit of the season.

The annual feeling that claims most of us is this is how our year-round life should be – of happiness in being kind to one another, of finding joy in the true essentials of life.

We know from previous seasons that for most of us it will last only into the beginning of the new year when the grind of daily life asserts itself. But while we have it, let us cherish it for the blessedness it brings to us.

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