Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

What is Christmas Joy?

What is Christmas joy? Real Christmas joy?

It’s an easy to answer question if you’re not honest, a hard one if you are.

christmas tree with gifts There are things we’re supposed to say about Christmas joy. That Jesus is the reason for the season, for example. Or that real Christmas joy comes from giving, not from getting.

But honestly, those things aren’t part of my feeling of Christmas joy at all.

What Christmas Joy Is For Me

Christmas joy, for me, is a Season, a happening. An experience. It’s like a long story, a big book or a really good movie. And like the TV events of old we all used to talk about around the water cooler the next day, this is a huge shared experience.

It starts when December draws closer. The music comes, the decorations appear. It’s getting darker — and colder. Inside it’s warmer and cozier.

It’s here, inside, the Christmas joy experience takes place, mostly.

All the Christmas movies we watch, every evening another. With popcorn and diet cola because we save calories for later. Every week we take out another one of our Christmas boxes and put up some decorations; this way decorating for Christmas is relaxed and fun instead of stressful work.

On my computer’s desktop I have Christmas desktop wallpaper. Like the movies, usually another one every day. Oh, not that I have that many just for Christmas; I have some winter landscape ones too.

What thrills me is that we’re all in this together. And that isn’t about family or friends; it’s us as a country all together into Christmas.

Santa Claus Christms Music in the Mall Commercials, stores, store windows, music on the radio, people doing Christmas shopping, Christmas decorations appearing everywhere, everything Christmas themed. On TV popular series have the time in their make believe world synced to ours and we see them having Christmas. The Christmas classics appear.

For a couple of weeks we’re all one, sharing the same experience, living the same life. It’s not that I’m a dreamer but that experience, that us approaching Christmas thing … that’s what I point to when you ask me "what is Christmas joy?"

Santa Claus Makes Secret Visit To Elementary School

Our investigative reporters have it that Santa Claus took out some time from his gift wrapping schedule to make a special visit to a school in Tampa yesterday morning.

Always a special occasion the local police had been alerted and to There was fire crews escorted Santa through the city to the DeSoto Elementary School.

Santa Claus handed out several small gifts and read Christmas stories to the children.

Diane Miller of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said the visit had been organized by Sincerely Santa.

Sincerely standbys and organization that works to identify schools where there are a lot of children from poorer families.

They been providing children toys and clothes turned the Christmas season for 20 years.

Marines Helping Santa

It is customary to see the tall white boxes with a picture of Santa Claus on it during the holiday season. And this year is no exception.

The Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign officially kicked off Oct. 15. And the program is anticipating giving away more toys than in 2007.

Guy White, past coordinator of the Toys for Tots program and Ocala West Marine Corps League member, said they are hoping to help 11,000 children this year. Last year, the group gave toys to 9,948 children in the county, which amounted to about 28,000 toys.

Organizations like the Salvation Army, Sheltering Arms, Interfaith Emergency Services, and Ocala Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Center put in requests to Toys for Tots for the needy children affiliated with their programs. Individuals cannot make requests for the toys.

Jim McCarthy, Ocala West Marine Corps member, said each child gets a toy, some stocking stuffers depending on their age and a stuffed animal. “They’re getting a variety” of toys, he said.

The Marine Corps Reserve has distributed about 130 collection boxes throughout Marion County at businesses, organizations and government agencies. Businesses like Toys R Us, Palm Chevrolet and CCS Mechanical are big contributors to the Toys for Tots campaign.

In addition, Dr. Debra Allen starts buying toys for the program in late December for the next year’s drive. White said the Morriston doctor has a room in her house filled with toys for the Marines. On Friday, he picked up the first of approximately three truckloads of toys from her, which included an assortment of items like board games and books. Last year, she donated about $2,000 worth of toys for .

Trees for Troops

Thursday members of the Christmas spirit foundation, Indiana tree farmers and FedEx volunteers will work together for the trees for troops program.

The volunteers will collect and prepare hundreds of donated Christmas trees. They’ll load them onto FedEx trucks for transport to the FedEx express hub in Indianapolis.

From there they will be shipped to the Navy’s fifth Fleet in Bahrain while the second batch will be delivered to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

The trees for troops program is part of FedEx special delivery and is a nationwide program that provides transportation as well as logistical assistance for community and nonprofit organizations.

This year FedEx and its volunteers will deliver over 16,000 trees to more than 45 military US bases around the world.

7 Year Old with Heart of Gold Rides with Santa

The annual Christmas parade in Monroe will be very special coming Sunday for second grader Hannah Demski.

Hannah is seven years old and goes to Central Elementary School in Erie.

She won a sponsored essay and this has given her the right to write with Santa Claus and his elves in Sunday’s Christmas parade.

In her letter to Santa Hannah had pledged to always behave and to donate some Barbie dolls to children who are sick and in the hospital.

True to her word, shortly after writing the letter Hannah donated her Barbie doll to a local department store that provides new Barbie dolls to children who are ill.

Holiday Spirit

Argh, now I did it myself! [backspace] Holiday Christmas spirit.

There. That’s better.

Sorry but I couldn’t help myself any longer. With 43 days to go until Christmas I’ve placed the first Christmas ornament in my office. OK, it’s tiny but still…

It’s a little house, snow decorated, that sits on top of my printer. No worries, it won’t fall because I don’t use my printer that often. All digital here, you know.

It was wonderful to be out today really shopping around for the perfect Christmas decoration to put up first. Because, yes, everything is still wrapped up in boxes in the basement. So I just “had” to buy something…

It comes from a dollar shop but that doesn’t change anything for me. Hey, in fact, it makes the thing feel that much more joyful to me then when it would have cost ten times more!

Christmas: it’s the cozy season.