By FRANK DESORBO
Every year we enjoy the spirit of the holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year Day. There is a change in the air, about ourselves, about the people we see and the neighborhoods take on a special appearance. Words and events during the six weeks will bring back a memory or two. Words like Nativity scenes, tinsel, Midnight Mass, letters sent to Santa, Noel, Christmas songs sung by the original singers, Bing Crosby, Christmas plays in school, coming home, visiting Grandma, the first US Stamp of Santa was issued 1972.
The feasting begins on Thanksgiving then the Christmas cookies, pies, fruit cakes, parties all have a festive touch. We eat and drink during these six weeks, the weight goes on then we try to make a resolution to shed it. As I have heard and is very realistic; it is not the weight you put on between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day but the food we eat between New Year’s Day and Thanksgiving. Let’s convert this six week spirit so it exists between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Unfortunately it disappears for next eleven months. Why is that?
We should strive in our culture today towards a few simple words – ‘let’s get along.’ I heard of a person who enjoyed the family gatherings during the holidays but a ground rule was no discussions of politics or religion. Today, tolerance and understanding should be a goal even if we do not think the same. It seems if you disagree with me then don’t bother with me. Coming from an Italian family, the feast around the holidays included loud and yelling conversations. However the worst confrontations were forgotten and eased with the turkey, macaroni, cookies and home made wine. The family would forget what their mouth was saying when their stomach was at work.
I have written about the World War I seize fires when the opposing troops would come together and share that Silent Night. During WW II the seize fires were abandoned by the tyrant Hitler. Then the 6 o’clock Vietnam War had their seize fire agreements. Yet in 2019, many a holiday spirit is wounded by differences of opinions that is converted to ‘I don’t want to be around you.’ Debates and conversation become intolerable and the holiday special wines and liquors produce conflict rather that festivities. What can we do?
It would be naive to think somehow we could keep the holiday spirit for eleven months. A new approach would be to try the first six weeks of the upcoming year for new civility. Let’s get to Valentine’s Day and extend our six week holiday spirit. Look up the story of St Valentine on your smart phones or computers. Maybe, just maybe, we can turn six weeks of holiday spirit into twelve weeks. It’s a start and we may find ourselves feeling better as we meet and interact with people who make our life more enjoyable. Let’s try a fresh new year’s resolution ‘to get along.’ Let’s give our family and friends Christmas presents of our new spirited presence. Please raise your holiday spirits and enjoy a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and an affectionate Valentine’s Day.