Christmas Spirit Is What You Make It
December 17th, 2010 - 3:00am
The true spirit of the Christmas season is sometimes forgotten in the hustle and bustle of today’s world. With so much on our minds it is not that difficult to lose perspective and put up walls instead of embracing, accepting, and appreciating one another.
The holidays are also a chance to gather and reflect. Families and loved ones get together to catch up on what they might miss the rest of the busy year and remind themselves why connections are so important. Sometimes, though, it is easy to forget why these moments matter.
There is one story that always comes to mind this time of year because it exemplifies the true meaning of Christmas. It is the tale of a little girl named Virginia, who wrote to a newspaper asking whether there really was a Santa Claus. Some of her friends said Santa wasn’t real, Virginia wrote.
The editor of the newspaper responded in one of the most famous editorials ever written. “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist.”
“Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias.”
This article was written over a hundred years ago, but its meaning still rings true in the hearts of children and adults alike because it addresses a struggle many of us face this time of year. The editor told Virginia she lived in a skeptical age, but she mustn’t give up hope. We still live in a skeptical age and we all have moments of doubt just like little Virginia. It can be hard to believe in love and generosity while struggling to afford Christmas presents on a tight budget. The holidays are especially difficult for those who have trouble making ends meet. Trying to enjoy the holidays in the midst of juggling life responsibilities is sometimes difficult.
But we must remember that Santa Claus does exist—that beneath the hustle and bustle of the holidays lies something more meaningful we can all be thankful for.
It is the small things that make the holidays worth the stress of lists, shopping and cooking. Things like the smell of evergreen, the sparkle of tinsel, or the smile on a child’s face on Christmas morning. It is also the generosity of those who volunteer at food banks or at a Christmas community dinner that can bring joy to those less fortunate in our communities.
So as we cook our turkeys and mash potatoes, bake our pies and cookies, maybe we should all remember to leave a little something for Santa Claus.