Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Christmas a state of mind

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.  Calvin Coolidge

Sleigh bells and snow don't appear in Phoenix, AZ.  Cactus and thistles abound.  

Christmas past, present, and future haunted poor Scrooge.  He dreamed of all three and visited them with the Christmas Angels.  He was shown his past and the choices he made.  He was shown what he was missing in the present by his miserly thinking and he visited the possibility of what his future may hold.  In a night, he realized that he could change his future by changing his present.  The version of Scrooge I watched as a child had a powerful impact on me...Scrooge MacDuck did not have the same wrenching impact.  It wasn't until I lost a Christmas that I appreciated how much Christmas is a state of heart.  I didn't actually loose it.  It happened any way but I ignored it completely, no cookies, no singing, no presents, no tree.  Zip. Zero. Nada.  I was so angry at Heavenly Father that I didn't want to celebrate the birth of His son.  I didn't feel any feeling of Christmas spirit.  I was filled with rage and used thick blankets of depression to dampen how I felt to a low roar.  Depression darkens lights and ornaments in a dreary fog.  Swimming through murky sorrows from the past can dampen holiday thinking.  Feeling like Christmas can be fragile.  That feeling can be trampled by jingle of cash registers and the cacophony of rushing from one event to another.  Demands of resented traditions tear at the Angel hair feeling that Christmas is about the Birth of Christ.   Our living room was bare except for a half made artificial Christmas tree.  The following year I started rebuilding Christmas.  Step by teetering step, I reinstated activities that help me feel the tingle and zing that I believe should accompany Christmas.  Purging Christmas, I examined every tradition and activity.  Did I want that in my Christmas?  A time for reflecting seems like the last thing I have time to do.  Thinking thoughts of Christ and His Mercy restored my faith and my state of mind.  I anticipate all year preparing for Christmas.  I decide what is right for me for Christmas.  


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