This is Christmas?

December 9, 2008 at 3:45 pm Leave a comment

Santa wears an apron in Florida. Wouldn’t you? During the day it is usually in the mid 70’s and on a ‘cold’ day here it is about 62. Can you imagine being in a Santa suit standing outside Wal-Mart or the grocery store or a liquor store? Too hot; so Santa wears a red apron like you have for barbecuing except it has a Salvation Army crest on it. It seems the Santa hat is optional and quite a few Santas wear sunglasses. Some just sit beside their pot until their tour of duty is up, others give their bells a shake now and then while some get right into it and keep the ol’ bells ringing and do the Ho- Ho and all. I don’t see many people donating though.

This is a strange year for me and Christmas. I am away from cold, snow and children; three ingredients necessary for the seed of the Spirit of Christmas to grow. Listening to ‘Chestnuts roasting on an open fire/ Jack frost nipping at your nose/ Yuletide carols being sung by a fire/ And folks dressed up like Eskimos’ has a surreal feeling when you look outside at palm trees, sand, sun and surf. Some of the large condo developments have splendid Christmas displays along their road frontage and many folks encrust their balconies with lights. The icicle ones are my favourite – what a theme park image of winter. I guess the more encrusted your balcony- the more religious you are. I’m also surprised by the number of real Christmas trees you see. There are lots selling trees and there are people in top-down convertibles with a bound up tree stuffed in the back seat heading home to decorate it.

What I’m saying is that Christmas seems to be a non-event. People go through the motions, but life is too easy here to highlight the meaning of Christmas. Perhaps we need the onslaught of cold and snow that forces us indoors and people of all social levels to fight against the common winter foe. It activates sympathy for those less fortunate and stimulates people to give to help others. I also wonder how many people here are alienated from their families and come here to escape.

The commercial side of Christmas is alive in Florida. People are in stores stocking up for Giftmas and the attendant decorations and music help fuel the commerce, but what is missing is the true Spirit of Christmas and that yearly experience of your Grinch like heart swelling as the idea of Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards all Mankind reawakens and we get to live in the world of the Spirit.

I miss that feeling. For a few hours at least, I yearn for cold and snow and children.

I hope you find that Spirit wherever you are and I sincerely wish you all; Merry Christmas.

Peace on Earth



Entry filed under: Wrestling With God.

Salt Water Spirit Easy to be Hard

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