Ig­nit­ing the Christ­mas spirit

The Compass - - NEWS - Melissa Jenk­ins Melissa Jenk­ins is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per. She can be reached at Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc.

With Novem­ber and the elec­tion be­hind us, it’s the time of year when peo­ple be­gin to really fo­cus on Christ­mas.

But each day I wake up to neg­a­tive com­ments on so­cial me­dia and up­set­ting news sto­ries from around the world. And it made me won­der, with plenty of neg­a­tiv­ity in the world, how does one boost the Christ­mas spirit?

I took the time last week to Google get­ting into the Christ­mas spirit.

Al­though many re­sults were repet­i­tive and tra­di­tional — like spend­ing time with fam­ily — there were some that were a lit­tle more com­mer­cial, such as shop­ping.

I thought I would cre­ate my own list for New­found­lan­ders and Labrado­ri­ans to tell them how I have got­ten into the Christ­mas spirit in the past that many may not think to try. Here is my top six: Num­ber six — A chil­dren’s Christ­mas con­cert. So you don’t have chil­dren in school? You don’t know any­one in a play? Many con­certs sell tick­ets. Some­times churches and com­mu­nity groups also put off per­for­mances. If kids dressed like presents doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will.

Num­ber five — Noth­ing makes me feel more in the Christ­mas spirit than see­ing Santa. Re­gard­less if I ac­tu­ally get in line at the mall and get on the big guy’s lap for a photo, it’s some­times ex­cit­ing just to see him in­ter­act with chil­dren. And when Santa bel­lows out a deep, “Ho, ho, ho,” I im­me­di­ately feel like it’s Christ­mas.

Num­ber four — Take in a Christ­mas pa­rade. Some peo­ple haven’t lined the streets of their home­town in years to see the floats, dancers and or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pate. So bun­dle up in your boots, coats, mitts and hats, and go check out your lo­cal pa­rade. If Santa’s sleigh doesn’t get your spirit flow­ing, maybe the ex­pres­sion on the kids’ faces will.

Num­ber three — Christ­mas songs. I know, some stores have been play­ing them for al­most a month al­ready. But each year I up­load a list of hol­i­day tunes to my iPhone and rock out in the car, lis­ten to them at work or play them on blast when I’m home wrap­ping Christ­mas gifts. In­stead of be­ing sick of hear­ing Santa Baby, just sing along. It sure makes me feel bet­ter. Oh, and I rec­om­mend the Madonna version of “Santa Baby.” You can dance along — boo doo bee doo

Num­ber two — Do­nate to a Christ­mas gift drive. Whether you pop by the lo­cal mall and drop some­thing off at the toy tree, or head to a women’s shel­ter or group home with gifts for the kids there, the feel­ing of making some­one else feel good is what Christ­mas is sup­posed to be about.

Fi­nally, in the num­ber one po­si­tion — eat Christ­mas treats. OK, so it’s not as pro­found as spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends, or as ex­pected as shop­ping, but it’s one thing I do ev­ery year. Whether it’s a Terry’s Chocolate Or­ange — oh come on, you know you want one — or a candy cane, Christ­mas snacks and food of­ten ig­nite the senses, bring­ing a feel­ing of nostal­gia.

When­ever I taste or smell a gin­ger­bread man, I am re­minded of when I was 10 years old and liv­ing in Toronto. My grand­mother, who is now 96, used to bake them and dec­o­rate them with lit­tle sil­ver candy. My sib­lings and I still get those sil­ver can­dies and dec­o­rate our own each year. It brings us to­gether, but it’s the tra­di­tion of the cook­ies that awak­ens the Christ­mas spirit.

Do you have some­thing that you do to get into the Christ­mas spirit? I would love to hear about it. Email me your tricks of the trade.

Have a fun, ex­cit­ing and de­li­cious Christ­mas sea­son.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Burin-Bon­av­ista-Trin­ity MP Judy Foote bows her head in front of a dis­play hon­our­ing White­way’s war he­roes dur­ing a Re­mem­brance Day event in the com­mu­nity held Nov. 11. Ap­prox­i­mately 100 peo­ple came out for the solemn oc­ca­sion. It was held at the White­way Me­mo­rial Cen­tre.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

On Wed­nes­day, Nov. 25, the 1st Bay Roberts Girl Guides held their En­rol­ment Cer­e­mony where 16 new mem­bers of­fi­cially be­came Girl Guides. As part of a com­mu­nity ser­vice project, the Guides do­nated gifts to the Magic Room at Ron­ald McDon­ald House. The gifts in­cluded toys and gift cards.

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