“I’ll see you all next year!” I can’t tell you how many times I've heard that same corny joke from one of my teachers just before I leave their room for Christmas break. All I can think about is how I’m going to have so much fun over the break. Hanging out with friends, spending Christmas with my family, and not having to worry about school for a while. I always get excited about the great times that I am going to have during the holiday season, however there are many people that aren't as fortunate as me. For some the holidays are a very tough time. Whether it be mourning the loss of a loved one or being tight on money there are many things that can bring down people’s spirits. For this reason it is important to remember the real purpose for the holidays, to spread joy and happiness to others.
Someone that can attest to the power of the holiday spirit is Amy Scharman of Mapleton, Utah. She remembers very distinctly the first Christmas after her parents had divorced. It was a hard time of the year, her mom was raising Amy and her siblings alone without any child support. None of them were expecting much to happen Christmas day until they heard a knock on the door late Christmas Eve. When they went to the door no one was there but there were bags of presents left on the doorstep. “It was such an overwhelming feeling to see such generosity from some I don’t even know.”
While this act of kindness was above and beyond what most people expect that doesn't mean we can’t adopt the mindset of doing what you can to help others. Something that I’m doing this winter to help spread the spirit of joy is being a Secret Santa Rematch. I participate in the largest Secret Santa Exchange in the world. It’s done online and is a lot of fun. However there are people that don’t follow through with delivering their gifts so I sign up to send more than one gift. This isn’t something big and I don’t go too far out of my way but it makes a big difference to the other person.
“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” Calvin Coolidge truly captures what the holiday spirit is all about. We need to embrace the holiday spirit and take the time to think of others. Do what we can so this is a time of year everyone can enjoy. Make sure to enjoy your time with friends and family and relax because it is well deserved, but also make sure to remember why we are fortunate to have this break and to pass on the goodwill of Christmas.
Stationed by the Rising Sun,