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Christmas spirit: Restoring love of the season

December 18, 2010
RENEE?PRUSI

Mind you, there has not been an actual "bah humbug" uttered by me. OK, maybe there has been a bah or two.

Getting fired up for Christmas usually is as easy a proposition for me as it is for a Kardashian to find minute to pose for a cameraman. But this year, the spark hasn't been lit, probably because there have been so many sad things going on both in the news and within the circle of friends and family I cherish.

It may be beginning to look a lot like Christmas, but it has not felt that way.

Then like the Peanuts gang, The Grinch and ol' Scrooge before me, my heart was gladdened by a realization that Christmas has been with me all along.

It was up to me to remember it by summoning memories of happy Christmases past, because life has been good to me, in general, and the holiday seasons through the years have been filled with special moments.

Instead of stressing about unpurchased gifts, unwrapped packages and unbaked cookies, it was time to conjure up some highlights of Christmas through the years to restore that blessed holiday spirit.

For instance, there was the Christmas my cousin Kathleen was the star of the children's program at Immanuel Lutheran Church. She sang Christmas songs with the enthusiasm of 20 kids. The rest of us were stunned when she drowned us all out on "Away in A Manger." When Kathleen sang, she sang. She was 5 years old and she was READY for Christmas.

Kathleen's a few decades older but she still enjoys Christmas with all that's in her.

Or how about the Christmas about 16 years ago that my dear cousin Lauren, who's now 21, had a word for all us potential Santa's helpers lurking in her living room in the wee hours of Christmas morning?

Actually, she had more than a word; she had many as she stood at the top of the staircase, yelling at us loud wanna-be elves: "Go home!!! Santa won't come if you're here!! GO HOME!!"

Then there was the Christmas Eve my sweet cousin Megan was mortified by the "holiday" song being performed by some of the adult male members of our family. Sung to the tune of "Winter Wonderland," the lyrics included the line "walking round in women's underwear."

Megz, now a senior in high school, was probably 6 that Christmas Eve when the serenade she was receiving was not something from her list for Santa. Definitely not.

The memories aren't all humorous, but sometimes the serious recollections still can boost one's holiday mood.

Those kind of reminiscences include watching tears flow down my mother's cheeks as she lifted her candle while we sang "Silent Night" in church on Christmas Eve.

And receiving a holiday-season package a few years ago to find my oldest brother, Alex, had sent each of his siblings the exact candles my parents used to display each Christmas we were kids.

Christmas is right here, if we let it be. It doesn't involve ribbons or tinsel or dogs barking out "Deck The Halls."

It comes to us when we let it, when we allow the promise at the heart of the season - the birth of a child sent to save us - be what we think of rather than a shopping list or the cards we haven't sent or that feast we need to prepare.

Christmas comes in focus when we remember the times, either funny or heartwarming, that have shaped our holidays past. It comes into clear view when we let it be about the people we love.

While I hope you get everything on your list to Santa, my wish is that your Christmas is filled with much more. May it be filled with the magic of creating memories that will bring you joy every year, to help keep the bah humbugs far away.

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her e-mail address is rprusi@miningjournal.net.

 
 

 

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