The spirit of the holiday season is the most important element of this time of year for me. I like to think that I have moved beyond accumulating large-ticket items under the tree; tokens of love are much more appropriate for me. When asked what I want for Christmas, my response this year has been “nothing, I have all that I want.”

With the passing of both my father and my father-in-law this month, I have to admit that it’s been rather difficult for me to find the holiday spirit. I have found the mingling of sympathy cards with Christmas cards in the mail to be rather solemn, though the sentiments of all were very much appreciated. It was a struggle to find the time to put up the Christmas tree this year; when I looked at it this morning, I marveled in it’s beauty (though the new tree topper we bought a year or two ago seems to be shorting out and blinking erratically).

I have struggled to find that Christmas spirit, but it has slowly been coming around and I have found ways to pass it along and bring the smile back to my face. After all, it’s the little things that count, like shaking the hand of and wishing a co-worker a Merry Christmas before they leave for the day, just after having a rather intense meeting with them. Or giving the fine folks at Dunkin’ Donuts a generous tip to thank them for having an iced tea ready whenever my Jeep is rumored to be in the area. Perhaps it’s sending a text message to someone that needs an electronic hug or leaving a voicemail wishing happy holiday sentiments to someone that you’ve only exchanged email with. It’s these little things that make the difference to me and it’s these little things that are showing me that the holiday spirit is very much alive and well.

Life is good. Happy Solstice. Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays.

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