Is the world moving too rapidly to stop and smell the gingerbread? NO! We dictate how quickly the world moves. This time of year, it’s especially important to slow down and make the moments count. Christmas is one of the greatest opportunities to celebrate all that we have: family, friends, good will, joy, and the best things in the world that money just can’t buy. Even for those who celebrate differently through Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Diwali or anything else, its about spreading the spirit of humility, life, and good fortune. Back in the day, the elaborate Christmas parties, ornate dishes of jellos and cookies that piled to the ceiling were standard to the host and hostess. Christmas cards and season greetings were sure to fill mailboxes for days!
Times have changed for better and worse since the days of Burl Ives, but there are so many ways to harness the warmth of the season from ages past. Last year’s Pledge Commercial (click on it!) was precious in highlighting what attributes of a holiday people want to keep close. Family and traditions are a brilliant source of spirit lifting- no matter how small or large.
The real question is how can we spread the spirit? Well, the greatest way to give others a lasting sense of love and community is subjective. For us, cookies and cards are the seasonal sentiments. There’s something incomparable about coming home to the sweet scent of ginger-raisin cookies and a stack of cards on the table. Money can buy ingredients, envelopes, and postage. What we sometimes forget in the rise of prices is that coins and paper can’t tell us what sentiments belong inside a card. Money can’t decide who needs a warm cookie from your oven or what families could use company on a cold winter’s night. While it seems to commercialize the season, the best gifts are the ones that have heart.
It is so important in this political climate to spread the goodness in who we are, be us Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Rastafarian…. you can be a turkey sandwich if you’d like… so this means that political correctness isn’t always right. Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah’ isn’t wrong. It is offering your sentiments of happiness or ‘merrriness’ to a person on a given celebration. This doesn’t obligate the person to celebrate your holiday. So this year, spread the love and human spirit in whatever way you feel can help another.
The most vintage December, regardless of what you celebrate, is one that your heart is devoted to. So this year, go the extra mile! Learn a new recipe and share your creations, ship out some cards to people you haven’t talked to in a while, invite over friends, decorate to your heart’s content- but most importantly, make those around you feel the love. After all, the retro postcards of wintertime funzies all centralize around the same idea: celebration. Have a very Merry December, darlings!