I’m trying really, really, really hard to be in the Christmas spirit this year. And as I look around me, I see that to be true for so many people this year.
I got laid off last Thursday. Two weeks before Christmas. TWO WEEKS! Now how do you tell a 7-year-old Santa lost his job before he’d finished his shopping? — A friend
It seems like the true pain of the economy has struck many this holiday season. Funds are low. Bills are high. Christmas dreams seem almost impossible to be dreamed. These woes have been fact for many for years, but for others its a new experience. I know I find myself with a deeper appreciation for my ancestors who survived The Great Depression.
As the press spends airtime trying to convince us all that the economy is getting better. That the recession it taking a turn. That its okay to spend money again. I call BS. If anything, now is the time we’re all feeling the pinch more than ever. That the true collapse of our economy has begun to settle, and we’re all looking around at the pieces around us. Pieces that come in the form of bills we can’t pay. Homes that today sit empty. Unemployment numbers that have reached near record highs.
Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle in their journey. – Author Unknown
A friend wrote that quote as their status update on Facebook tonight, and that really made me stop and think. It’s very true. We all have our own battles to fight every day. Some are facing potential job loss. Others are trying to find a job. I know of people who have family members in the hospital fighting for their lives. We are still hearing stories of families losing members — children — to the H1N1 flu virus.
We all have our crosses to bear. And in a season in which we’re all encouraged to be a little kinder to each other, it seems that this year that need is a little greater. Smiles need to be a little brighter. Hugs need to hold on a little tighter. Transgressions of the past year need to be forgiven. Time spent counting our many blessings needs to be taken a little more often.
Losing the spirit of the season only hurts you more. I was happy to address and mail Christmas cards, even as I grumbled about the postage hike that made it a little more difficult to afford. I couldn’t pass up participating in a recent “Dirty Santa” game at a Christmas Party… the laughter and friendship that occurs in a game like that is priceless. It’s memories that keep you warm in your heart all year long.
I have been so blessed lately to be surrounded by dear friends, and I look forward to a trip to spend Christmas with family. I can’t wait for midnight mass — a chance to truly remember the reason for this season. And even when life and my own personal “battles” get me down, I’m reminded to take a moment and let this season sink into my heart. It’s a time for joy. For family and friends. For hope. For love. For faith.
Perhaps even for a little magic. Christmas magic. That thing that takes the holiday doldrums and turns them into holiday cheer… I, personally, believe in magic.