Get­ting to ob­serve and en­joy many forms of Christ­mas spirit

The Enterprise - - Community Forum -

As I keep get­ting older, it seems the Christ­mas spirit keeps chang­ing.

I still keep hear­ing about “Black Fri­day spe­cials.” I even at­tended one, on Thanks­giv­ing Day. It was pretty cold as I stood in line at 4 p.m. with my wife. She was try­ing to get a new ad­di­tion to her elec­tronic col­lec­tion. The peo­ple in line were all friendly, even the mother whose baby was cry­ing. The baby had beet-red ears, nose, cheeks and hands. Af­ter nearly an hour, some­one came and took the baby with them to a heated car. Christ­mas spirit, maybe?

Then the doors opened at 5. Re­mem­ber those friendly peo­ple in line? Guess what? They started a mad rush to get their Black Fri­day spe­cials. Christ­mas spirit, maybe.

Af­ter my wife couldn’t find what she was look­ing for, we went to three other stores, hop­ing to find me shoes and un­der­wear. She found shoes in the se­cond store, and the un­der­wear in the fourth. Then we went home and got an in­ter­net Thanks­giv­ing card. Christ­mas spirit, maybe?

On Black Fri­day it­self, we went to the tree light­ing in Leonard­town. There was a large crowd of chil­dren, par­ents and grand­par­ents. There was singing. At first I thought the singing was piped-in mu­sic. No, it was live — many dif­fer­ent groups of all ages singing. Christ­mas spirit was start­ing to make me warm in­side.

There was free hot choco­late, light sticks for the kids, cook­ies and much more. My friend had two young boys. They could not see the Christ­mas tree. So he asked me to lift up one of the boys. I have no grand­chil­dren of my own, but this made me so happy that my wife had made me come to the tree light­ing. Christ­mas spirit, maybe.

For nearly 20 years I have helped the Hol­ly­wood Vol­un­teer Fire De­part­ment with many of its ac­tiv­i­ties. I had never gone to the light­ing of their Christ­mas tree, but we went this year. When we got to the park­ing lot, there was a long line of peo­ple wait­ing to get into the so­cial hall. We went around to the kitchen en­trance.

I couldn’t be­lieve what I saw. There were ladies dressed as elves, and lighted Christ­mas trees. There was a stack of about a thou­sand home­made cook­ies.

In­side, I thought I was at the North Pole. There were red and green table­cloths. There was a large Christ­mas tree with two large re­clin­ers near it. There was Christ­mas mu­sic, and a ta­ble with chairs so that chil­dren could write and mail a let­ter to Santa. There were ta­bles sell­ing raf­fle tick­ets for a bike or a large Christ­mas stock­ing.

Chil­dren were run­ning and play­ing all over the room without fear — just hap­pi­ness.

Around 5 p.m. peo­ple went out­side to watch Santa light the tree. My wife stayed at the raf­fle ta­bles, and I went to the play area to help.

Then it hap­pened: Santa went by, led by many fire trucks. Peo­ple yelled and clapped for him. As he went by, he waved at ev­ery­one.

Out­side, the tree was lit, then Santa and Mrs. Claus came in­side and sat in the re­clin­ers with the elves be­side them. Chil­dren of all ages got to sit on Santa’s lap and tell him what they wanted for Christ­mas.

Off from the kitchen, the other large room was filled with cook­ies, small juice con­tain­ers and water for ev­ery­one.

Then, I did some­thing I had never done be­fore: I drew all the win­ning raf­fle tick­ets for the peo­ple. I felt that I touched every ticket. I had a hard time hold­ing back my tears. I thought my heart was go­ing to ex­plode with hap­pi­ness.

Christ­mas spirit, maybe?

Glenn Richards, Hol­ly­wood

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.