There are times, especially during the Christmas season, when I can walk down the street or enter a room and almost reach out and touch the feeling around me.
I can go back in my memory and feel what it was like to be working in my grandmother’s grocery store right before Christmas. Both feelings are the same exciting, warm enveloping sensations that seem to happen only during the Christmas season.
Over the years, I’ve often thought about why Christmas has this rare effect upon not only me, but millions of others who celebrate this holiday. We don’t turn into different people at Christmas, or do we? And if we do become better individuals at Christmas, why can’t we be that way all year?
If Christmas is about celebrating and giving, perhaps we need to consider why we’re taking on all this celebrating and giving in the first place. We don’t do all the shopping and baking and decorating and preparing just because we have nothing else to do, or because the media tells us to do it or because we feel guilty if we don’t.
I think we become better at Christmas because we love one another other and truly want to make one another happy. We have an instinct and urge to share what we have and see the joy it brings to others.
Perhaps our lives are about selflessness and comforting others. Perhaps we are supposed to be kind and caring to one another all year long and not just during the Christmas season.
If we get a special “kick” out of the Christmas season, perhaps we need to work on making ourselves and others just as excited and caring more frequently.
How outstanding it would be to share just a bit of what we have on a regular basis with organizations here in Boulder City. Some could give money, others time. No matter what we contribute, something from all of us turns into a whole lot of joy and comfort for our neighbors.
I can’t help thinking that everyone wants to experience fulfillment and happiness regularly as opposed to feeling the emptiness and gloom that all too often overshadow our day-to-day routine.
All of us face difficult, painful times throughout our lives, but when Christmas time comes around, we shift into another mode. We exhaust our resources to make others happy. The frenzy is fine, but perhaps we need to pace ourselves and spread some of that holiday cheer throughout the year.
Call me crazy, but I am suggesting celebrating the Christmas season throughout the year. I can’t think of anything better. All that giving and helping folks and all that kindness and gratitude coming right back at you can’t help but make you one heck of a happy person.
Just think of it. Happy, contented people inhabiting the earth! There would be no reason to hate each other. No more killing. No more war. No more starvation and disease. No more greed and selfishness. The spirit of Christmas would be with us every day.
That’s what the Christmas season is all about to me. It’s not the schmaltzy songs you hear about “an old-fashioned Christmas” and “being home for the holidays” and “Christmas in my home town.” I am not anti-Christmas songs. Hey, I’d play them all year long, but many of these tunes express idealized versions of what once was that may have never, ever taken place.
We shouldn’t have to turn to make believe descriptions of Christmas when we can have the real thing all the time. All we have to do is stop and feel what Christmas is really about and take some time to make it happen.
Volunteer at a hospital. Donate to a food pantry regularly. Read a story to a child any day of the year. Serve meals to the homeless. Help your neighbor find a job. Add a new charity to your list.
With such a vast selection of what we can do, we’d run out of days in the year to do all of them.
And there you have it: Christmas can happen every day of the year if we make it happen.
Rose Ann Miele is a journalist and was public information officer for Boulder City for nine years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 702-347-9924.