The Christmas spirit is alive and well in children

I’ve heard a lot of people this year say, “it doesn’t feel like Christmas.” I have to agree. But the spirit is there to be found

DOTHAN, AL, December 24, 2012 — ‘Tis the season to be jolly…or is it? I’ve heard a lot of people this year say, “it doesn’t feel like Christmas.” I have to agree. So what is it that makes Christmas feel like Christmas?

Is it snow on the ground, cold air, colored lights, music, shopping? Is it seeing little children all aglow with anticipation? Or is it the sights and sounds of a church with bells ringing and people praying?

All those things are around this year, except for the snow here in the deep south.

Our cousins and relatives further north will experience snow for us and we don’t feel a great loss at not having any. Otherwise, all the traditional elements seem to be in place that normally give us that special feeling of peace on earth, good will to men.  

That same feeling also makes us feel all warm and fuzzy, thinking that the world is right and the future is bright.

Perhaps the media is the real-world Scrooge that has dampened our Christmas spirit. The news is filled with “bah humbug” stories about war, mass shootings, political wrangling over taxes, runaway government, arrogant politicians, personal scandals and natural disasters.

If Santa has been watching the news lately, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that he is getting fitted for body armor and having sidewinder missiles attached to his sleigh.

I tend to criticize the media a lot, but to be fair the media doesn’t make the news. It twists it, exaggerates it and spins it in order to sensationalize stories and increase audience share, but it rarely makes the news.

It is also my option to turn it off if I don’t like it, so I won’t blame the media for a lack of Christmas spirit this year. At the risk of sounding like a liberal, who else can we look at to blame?

Politicians can and will ruin the spirit of any holiday, but there’s nothing new in that. They are entirely predictable and haven’t changed their self-serving ways since the world started. What about the atheists and anti-religion people who are trying to tear down Christianity? Are they the reason it doesn’t feel like  Christmas this year?

No, they are just a parody of themselves. Only they can’t see how laughable their actions are.

There is no point in looking at non-Christian religions for blame. Despite what the media and fanatics would have us believe, there is no clash between Christianity and other religions. Every single one of the world’s major religions teaches peace and respect as part of their ideology. None of them regard Christmas as a threat. I hope the Westboro Baptist Church folks get that message very soon.

My seven-year-old granddaughter just walked in the room and told me to turn off the computer. She said “come on, stop working, it’s Jesus’ birthday!” As I sent her scurrying out it hit me that I have been acting like a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge.

I’ve been looking in all the wrong places for the spirit of Christmas.

I forgot that it feels like Christmas when it comes from the heart, when a little voice inside says “get out there and pray for peace on earth. Show some good will to men.”

Children often know things that we adults tend to forget as we get older but not always wiser.

So thanks to a bouncy little redheaded girl with a big toothless grin, it’s beginning to feel a LOT like Christmas.

Merry Christmas to all, and special blessings for the little angels of Newtown, CT and their families.  


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Rick Townley

Rick Townley was a bookseller before switching to electronic publishing with The New York Times, Reuters, Grolier and others. He is the author of a humor book, For Boomers Only – Exploring Life in the New Millennium, a supernatural novel, Stepping Out of Time, and numerous short stories. In addition to contributing to the Washington Times Communities, Rick is working on a fiction series called Stigma and resides in southern Alabama with his 7-year-old granddaughter, Chloe.

 

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