Spirit of the Season

As a child, you may have been taught to believe in Santa Claus.Your first introduction to "that jolly old elf" might have been at the department store, or the mall, where you had your picture taken with him.When you were old enough, you probably whispered your childhood wants in his ear, and then followed up with a handwritten note, printed in large block letters.Christmas was magical.Those were the days when you left a plate of cookies and a cold glass of milk on a table by the tree, to give Santa extra energy for his long night's work.You'd allow yourself to be tucked into bed, vibrating with excitement.You'd fall asleep listening for the shimmering sound of sleigh bells, after multiple peeks out the window, hoping to spot Rudolph's glowing red nose.In the morning, you'd find nothing but crumbs left on the plate by the tree, and most, if not all, of the milk gone, too. And maybe - just maybe - you'd spy a piece of paper tucked safely under the plate. A letter from Santa Claus!You might have been torn between reading that precious letter, and delving into the treasures tucked into your stocking, and under the tree. The letter would win out, because your parents weren't up yet, in spite of the commotion.You'd plop down on the floor in front of that glittering tree, and read every word, determined to commit it to your memory. At the first sound of your parents' slippered feet, you'd be up like a shot, racing to greet them with news of Santa's visit, waving the letter in their sleepy faces."Do you see? Santa is real!"Not too many years later, you learned Santa wasn't who you thought he was. You discovered the secret - or the conspiracy, or even the lie, depending on your perspective.The magic was gone.In its place, or perhaps left behind, was anticipation based almost exclusively on what you'd find under the tree. You still vibrated with excitement, but it was born of soft greed for what you'd get, with little thought to how you got it; from whom, and why.But then, many years later, with or without children of your own, Santa, if allowed, sneaked back into your heart, and reminded you.He reminded you about the magic and the mystery; the importance of giving of yourself, and the grace of receiving; the love of, and for, family and friends, and fellow humans on this planet we call home.He reminded you of the true spirit of the season.The true magic.Wishing you and yours many blessings.

Your New Year To-Do

Christmas Snow