It doesn’t have to stop now
Dec. 22, 2014
by Ivan Raconteur

It will all be over soon.

The songs will have been sung, the gifts unwrapped, and the feasts consumed.

But, here is a radical idea from the curmudgeon. It doesn’t have to end there.

In the weeks leading up to Christmas, I have read and heard stories of kindness and generosity. Often, these included references to things like “Christmas spirit” or “holiday magic.”

Indeed, for some of us, that is part of the joy of the season.

Everyday greed may be banished by the pure pleasure of giving, rather than receiving.

It can be a time when people set aside their petty squabbles and for a brief shining moment understand the beauty behind the words “peace on earth, good will toward men.”

It seems to me, we don’t need to put away our Christmas spirit when we pack up the lights, ornaments, and other trappings of the season. We can practice it year-round.

I’m not suggesting we keep all the images of Christmas with us throughout the year.

For example, it would be gauche to wear a red suit with white fur trim after Memorial Day.

And, no doubt we would have some trouble with the folks from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals if we kept reindeer south of the Arctic Circle during the summer months.

But, as for the important concepts, why stop after Christmas?

There is no statute of limitations on generosity. It is not compulsory to pack away kindness with the boxes and bows.

Traditionally, the Christmas season has provided light in a time of darkness.

Why not spread that light around even more?

We seem to have no difficulty expanding the crass commercial aspects of the season.

Christmas merchandise competes for shelf space with Halloween costumes these days. Thanksgiving, once a family holiday reserved for appreciating what we have, has all but been wiped out by our insatiable thirst for bargains and our quest to acquire even more material possessions.

Let’s be honest – those people who trample their fellow shoppers in frenzied stampedes are not all doing it because they have been moved by generosity and are in a hurry to buy gifts for their loved ones.

Their motivation does start with a “g,” but the word is not “generosity,” it’s “greed.”

So, if we can expand the tawdry side of Christmas, why not expand the beautiful side at least that much? Why don’t we make “peace on earth, good will toward men” our standard throughout the year?

I don’t believe spreading the spirit of the season to other times of the year would diminish or cheapen Christmas in any way.

In fact, it might just show that we have finally got the message and understand what it is all about.

I’m not sure I could take many more weeks of listening to Christmas carols, but I know for a fact I could embrace a lot more kindness, generosity, and compassion.

We have been told the portly guy in the sleigh sees us when we are sleeping and when we are awake.

I believe there will come a time when all of us will be called upon to account for our actions, and to state, for the record, whether we have been naughty or nice.

I’m pretty sure this applies to the way we conduct ourselves throughout the year, not just on one day a week, or a couple weeks out of the year.

We all have things for which we can be thankful. Regardless of our beliefs, it seems that one of the best ways we can show appreciation for what we have is in the way we treat others.

Practicing the Christmas spirit is a simple way to show our appreciation, not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Advertise in over
250+ MN newspapers