Whenever I step outside, get a whiff of woodsmoke, and feel the crisp frosty air, I warmly remember Christmas growing up in the 1960s. I miss the aroma of a big fat Scottish Pine Christmas tree and the rush of coming down the stairs to a living room with all sorts of goodies—the rush of Christmas Morning.
Baby Boomers remember the magic of a mid-century Christmas.
I never gave up the dream—the fantasy of Santa Claus. I still believe… “Miracle On 34th Street” is a good example of why we must never stop believing in Santa Claus. Santa Claus is fantasy and folklore. He doesn’t physically exist. However, he continues to exist in our hearts and in our minds. The Department of Defense still believes. Even NORAD deep in Cheyenne Mountain tracks Santa’s journey across the globe while also watching over our hemisphere for the bad guys.
Christmas euphoria began to wane when adults started telling us there was no Santa Claus. “Now, Honey, you do know there’s not really a Santa Claus…” my mother told me around age 9. I was naïve. I believed in Santa Claus. Her words were unsettling, especially months after telling me Santa came through the apartment door.
I loved the fantasy of Santa Claus—out there in the night under the stars braving the elements making sure we all got our presents— “And to all…a good night!!!” with a smile.
Who else does that but Santa Claus?
It is the goodness in the Santa Claus fantasy why we should continue to embrace and believe. It’s important for each of us to follow as a matter of practice. Santa Claus is about giving without expecting anything in return. That just isn’t human now is it? All that hard work around the world without so much as a thank you. Each and every year, he just keeps coming.
Santa Claus understands the true spirit of giving and has for centuries. It is about paying it forward and feeling good about one’s self. What about that? I’ve never felt completely right receiving but have always enjoyed giving. Makes the heart feel good to hand someone a gift or do something nice for someone that makes their life better. The joy in their eyes. A simple thank you or a hug—acknowledgement—for the good you’ve done for someone else.
In order to prove this out, do something nice for someone without them knowing it came from you. That’s the real beauty of paying it forward. Paying it forward is simple gestures of kindness without anyone really knowing where the kindness came from. I was at breakfast with my sister years back when a homeless man came in and sat down across the aisle from us. We decided to pay for the man’s breakfast—without him knowing where it came from. That was true paying it forward. It felt good to set him up with a warm meal to get him through the day.
We both recognized our blessings and concluded it was time to give back. It was time to share our good fortune with another soul in need.
Christmas is surely about the birth of Jesus and the good that He did in his time here. However, the spirit of giving should cross all religious faiths. It is healthy to give and to share. It does the soul a lot of good. When you’re nestled in the warmth and peace of your home, acknowledge your good blessings and ask what you may do for others. And while you’re at it, thank God for all the goodness you have. You will be astonished at how it comes back to you.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Everyone…