Where is the spirit of the season? Where and how, do we find it among all that is going on around us? Should we even bother? How, can we be happy right now? Do we dare be joyful, when there is so much sadness? What right, do we have to laugh and sing, when others are shedding tears over loss? How do we live, among so much death?
It is impossible to ignore the things that are going on around us. We try to go about our day, but we are never far from the conscious thought. We are reminded constantly, every time we put on the face covering. Every time we reach for hand sanitizer or wash our hands, again. We are reminded. Every day, we see the numbers. Every day, more are lost. People are hungry. People are afraid. People are frustrated. How, in all of that, do we celebrate? Just this week, death’s cold grip took the lives of two police officers. Just this week, I have seen more people asking for prayers for various reasons. Just this week, I have seen the sadness social distancing and staying at home is causing. The desperate standing with their signs, hoping for something.
Where is the Spirit of Christmas? I saw it today, in brief little moments. The look on the face of a sign hold when given an unknown amount. I saw it, when the driver behind saw the driver ahead give, and they followed suit. I saw it, in the eyes of a child, looking in wonder at a display. I saw it, in the eyes of a friend, receiving a donation for someone in need. As Dr. Seuss said in the Grinch, “It started out low, then started to grow” The Spirit is alive and well.
People are hurting, they may not be in a celebratory mood, but they need the gift of friendship. Those who call, who let them know through what ever means, they are thought of, they are cared for, they are loved. To let them know, they are only a phone call, text message, social media post away.
People are afraid. They need to know, they have not been abandoned. They need to know, their family and friends are there for them. That no matter what, they will be helped in every way possible.
I heard it today, in a long conversation. When the discussion bounced from topic to topic and back again. Cocooned in a moment, uninterrupted by the every day.
There has been a lot of craziness this year. We have faced more loss than we could have ever imagined. The struggles have been and continue to be very real. As I have seen many times, across the social media landscape, this is not a year to ask for what we want, but to be thankful for what we have.
I’m sitting here in a quiet house, the hour growing late, and through a slightly opened blind, I can see the lights on the house as they blink on and off. I lost my job in March, but I have been able to be here for my parents. I have had to learn how to budget, but I’m not destitute. My home needs a lot of work, but I’m not homeless. I am blessed. There are no gifts under our Christmas Tree, but that’s fine. The Grinch also said something like, Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe, just maybe, its a little bit more. And it is.
Christmas isn’t a house full of gifts, a fancy meal fit for royalty, a house decorated to the nines. Christmas, is love. It is the love come to earth in the form of a baby. It is the pure gift of peace, of hope, of mercy. You can’t find that in a store or wrap it in a box. You see it in the actions of others. You see it in the compassion, in the sharing. You see it in the eyes of a child, their wonderment at it all. You see it in the eyes of someone who has just been given the money to pay an over due bill, or a box full of food, or a warm coat. You see it, when people come together as one, to be the difference so desperately needed. You feel it in the warmth of your heart, as it grows three sizes watching compassion happen around you.There, is the reason for the season. And even in the sadness, we can find that spirit.