Regardless of personal religious belief, it is pleasing to take several weeks out of the year to think primarily of others. Our lives are so busy much of the time that giving is not a main priority. The holidays of December: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, provide this opportunity.
We overspend in the spirit of the season on parties, gifts, special contributions to organizations and to the needy. The holiday spirit creates a yearly renewal of unselfishness.
Christmas with Santa Claus, decorated trees, and family gatherings is the tradition I know best. It is my very favorite holiday. This probably dates from my childhood when my dad's family gathered in the living room with its tiny coal burning fireplace to distribute presents. As the oldest and for a while the only grandchild, I received a gift from everyone. The gifts were not lavish, but to me they were wonderful. One that I remember was a white knit cap with long knit braids given to me by my Uncle Rob. I wore it until it was just a rag.
I love the whimsy of Christmas. In Florida, we don't have snow, sleds, sleighs or other such snowy weather entertainments, but that doesn't stop us. Snow flakes made of lights, inflatable snowmen, and lighted icicles grace the yards of my neighborhood. One of the strangest Florida traditions is wrapping the trunks of palm trees with strings of lights. Why? I'm not sure, but they are festive. Down the street from my house, a Santa inflatable lies collapsed in a yard as if he fainted, but he's only had the air removed for the daytime. I don't know why.
At the airport, I saw a well-dressed man in a suit and tie with Santa Claus patterned socks peeking below his pants leg. A few years ago, a yard near the beach displayed a small sleigh overflowing with gifts pulled by four plastic flamingos wearing Santa hats. Yes, Christmas can bring out the best and the happiest in us.
However you celebrate the holidays or whichever one you celebrate, enjoy and don't hesitate to make someone happy.
Here are some of the decorations in my neighborhood:
Florida snow flake with icicles
Florida style inflatable snowman.
A stuffed giraffe wearing a Santa hat
Inflatable dog looks a little scared.
Blue tree, blue snowflakes, different, but pretty.