We received a voice message the other day from a grandson who said “it would be really nice if I could get the Christmas countdown for the computer”. What he was referring to was that he had not yet received his Advent calendar for this year. My wife hustled quickly to Jackie Lawson’s web site and ordered calendars to be emailed immediately to our five youngest grandchildren who delight in opening a new page each day leading up to Christmas.
Different seasons of the year have their own seasoning which the dictionary calls “flavor, excitement and zing”. These weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, or Hanukah, which coincides with Christmas this year, or Kwanza, first celebrated in 1966, are filled with preparations of all kinds.
From the solemn and spiritual to crass commercialism, we see all kinds of expressions in these 4-5 weeks and then turn the page on another year come January. What you and your family do to celebrate will depend largely on your own traditions, what you learned about the meaning of the holy days, or the holidays, and on which side you come down most heavily.
Whether you and your family bake cookies, build a gingerbread house and decorate it with icing, hang stockings by the chimney for Santa Claus, open Advent calendars, or associate a snowy winter with the Christmas season complete with a tree and other decorations will depend on your practices over the years.
I recall the first time being in a tropical climate during the Christmas holidays and given where I had grown up in the north, it just didn’t seem right or normal. Over the years, I managed to transcend that limitation and now it’s not only OK for me to be in a tropical climate in December, it’s to be preferred.
What I wish for each of you during this season is that you find ways to add some seasoning that will bring you and your family some more flavor, excitement and zing. To get you in the mood, here’s our feel good song from our favorite holiday movie, “Love Actually.”