Do you remember when you stopped believing in Santa? Or the Easter Bunny? Or the Tooth Fairy? I can’t say I can remember exactly or even what caused me to stop believing in that jolly old soul , or any of the others, I just remember that at some point I did.
As I look back, it seems really sad to me that another piece of awe and wonder evaporated from my existence at such a young age. It seems like the more a child’s world of imagination is replaced with “reality” the more life becomes a struggle and the less we have to look forward to each day. Why do we do that? First, as children, we allow the adults to ruin our joy and wonder. Then, as adults, we take that away from our own children. It hardly seems like something you would want to do if you want happiness for yourself and others.
Santa Claus, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas or by whatever other name you recognize him, he is the Spirit of the Holiday – no matter what holiday you celebrate at this time of the year. It is the essence of what makes up this wonderful character that should be our focus – not whether he really exists or not. Joy, peace, love, generosity, and magick/miracles are his message and we should all be more than willing to spread that wonderful energy far and wide during this season and all year long, for that matter.
It seems like the longer we humans live our lives here on Planet Earth, the more we forget what this season of the year represents. Instead, we have turned it into who can give the best gifts and who can receive the most. How sad that we believe these things will truly bring us the joy we so desperately seek. Acts of kindness are far more valuable than any expensive piece of electronics. A smile given to a stranger will last longer as a memory for that person than any material gift that we give. Offering shelter or a bowl of food to a stray animal, now that’s a gift that will be appreciated! Why do we, for the most part, no longer see this or believe it?
Perhaps that’s why my all-time favorite movie of this season is A Christmas Carol. I think I’ve seen every version there is. This year I even found one from 1935 I hadn’t seen before. My favorite version is the 1951 one with Alaister Sim playing Scrooge. To me this movie speaks to where we as a society have gone emotionally and psychologically when it comes not only to this time of the year, but our attitudes toward our fellow humans.
Don’t get me wrong. I recognize that there are people who know how to “keep Christmas” and express it outwardly towards others, even to strangers. The majority of us have lost our way in this celebration of the season though. For those who feel a little “Bah, humbug!” at this time of the year, there is no awe, no wonder. The seasonal music may be irritating and the lights and decorations hold no joy. Some may even feel that they are just a bother to put up and take down again. For them, the Grinch truly has stolen Christmas.
Have you ever watched the other seasonal classic, It’s a Wonderful Life ? It has a message as well. No matter how difficult things are, no matter how hopeless they may seem, there is always something to be grateful for and each and everyone us makes a difference in the greater scheme of things. That’s something we need to remind ourselves of daily.
So how do we get back on track? How do we recapture the awe and wonder of belief in the season? I can’t say that I have an answer. Maybe it’s so individualistic that each of us needs to find that answer for ourselves. Perhaps we need to each take some time and return to a holiday memory that really made us smile, made us feel the joy of this time of year when we still believed in the visits from the bearded man in the red suit.
Although I no longer celebrate Christmas per se, I will be watching the skies tonight. Who knows, maybe I’ll see that sleigh and those reindeer just one more time…