Another Christmas

It seems every year, Christmas sneaks up on me a little faster. I spend just about every weekend in the fall doing an art show or preparing for one. September and October seem to be a frenzy of activity after the lazy days of summer. By the time I've finished my October shows I am getting ready for my Open Studio and then- Wham! it's the Christmas season again. My mail box becomes overstuffed with coupons and catalogs, some from companies I have never heard of before. The TV and the radio hum ceaselessly with jingles and ads for products that I don't need and never ending one-day sales that I sadly, eventually succumb to. I used to love going out and finding all those bargains and I admit, have been guilty of going a little over board with gifts for my family, especially my daughter. But I got such good deals and it was like treasure hunting...

 However, more and more each year, I am going out less and less to the stores. After my first and what will probably be my last shopping trip of the season the other day, I have decided that my treasure hunting from store to store may permanently become a quiet and maybe a little lonely trek through cyber space only.

The reason: people. What has happened to them? Every year that I go out to shop it seems people are becoming more and more rude and aggressive behind the wheel. In just one day people were parking so close to my car that I couldn't get in the door, tailgating me,cutting off in front of me and the most interesting off all, passing me on the left at a red light by driving up the medial strip to get into a turning lane and then flipping ME off! All I could do was shake my head.

I used to love to go out shopping at Christmas. I love the decorations and the Salvation Army bells ringing. I loved the high school chorus singing that I might happen upon,the fake Santa's and mesmerized young faces, and most of all I loved to share a little Christmas spirit by doing little random acts of kindness where I could- opening doors for people, sharing that extra coupon I have in my purse, buying a coffee for the person behind me in the coffee line.

I'm not down on Christmas. I will still do those things where I can and I encourage others to do the same. Just be kind people!

Christmas is a time of love and sharing even though it has been made into a big empty commercial holiday.

But for me, it's still about Christ- the joy of His birth and the blessing of His life, death and resurrection.

It's also about family and the people I love. I still find joy in baking cookies with my daughter, hosting our annual Christmas Open House, watching "Its a Wonderful Life" while eating pizza Christmas Eve, breakfasting Christmas morning with our dear friends and cooking dinner at home Christmas night. 

But my very favorite thing about Christmas is when everyone else has gone to bed on Christmas Eve and I go out on my deck and look up at the stars. There is no traffic on the road and it seems that I can almost hear the air because the world is has become so still. If there is snow- all the better. It is indeed, a Silent Night, Holy Night.

I hope that all those people rushing around, driving like maniacs and being rude to other people in their quest for STUFF, might also take a moment to look up and remember and feel the real meaning of Christmas and experience the joy and peace of the season.

Karen O'Lone-HahnComment