Merry Christmas to you all! It’s nearly here. Boy, did it come fast! I think I’m more or less ready as far as presents and wrapping and all that glitter goes. It’s been a strange holiday season for me mostly because of my back injury. Some of the things I would have normally done I didn’t get to do, like make stained glass ornaments for my family, and I suspect that’s contributed to my sense of Christmas fast approaching. My routine got busted up, so it doesn’t feel like it should be Christmas already. However, despite my feelings, Christmas is all but here.

Yep, despite my feelings, Christmas is almost here. I really haven’t been excited about it this year. Normal certainly got disrupted for me, it seems like there have been a lot of scheduling issues for family get-togethers, and even the weather has been a little weird.

The funny thing is that there are things about Christmas that I do love. I enjoy a lot of the music and the way that people dip into the past to enjoy music that people have been playing at Christmas time for decades, even centuries. American culture seems to spend a lot of time looking forward and trying to achieve new and modern. I like that at Christmas, people look back a bit and remember some old and classic music. In fact, that happens with all kinds of Christmas traditions – traditional ornaments, traditional recipes, traditional gifts, traditional colors, traditional whatever. It makes me smile that once a year, we touch base with traditions.

Another thing I love is that I can be a little bit friendly and wish somebody well with a cheerful “Happy holidays!” or “Merry Christmas!” without getting funny looks. People will often even smile back! Other times of the year, a polite well wishing will more frequently earn me funny looks. People aren’t rude in response, but it’s like they have no idea how to respond to a sincere, “Have a good day,” or “I hope that goes well for you.” At Christmas, it’s more normal to greet folks and wish ‘em well. I love that!

Something else I love is the generosity I see displayed. Commercialization has certainly capitalized on Christmas, but once the greed is scraped off and set aside, I think some of that is because people do love to give. Christmas can be a great time to express that generosity. I saw that with my coworkers this year as the food and toy drive boxes and other charities were filled to overflowing. People gave a lot.

Things like this do make me happy that it is the Christmas season. Peace on earth, goodwill to men, huh?

Here’s hoping that you do, indeed, have a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!