Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit

Hey everybody

I know, I know... I've been a baaaaaaaaaaad blogger. The past couple of months I've been so busy with various projects that I really haven't put much up here... but it's the holiday season, and that's gonna change (people who know me will read "work is slow right now, so I have the time to blog" in the above intro). I'm just overflowing with freakin' Christmas spirit (as I'm sure you can tell from the cartoon to the left).
Seriously, though, I love this time of year. Now, don't get the wrong idea, I don't LOVE CHRISTMAS (!!!!) in all its consumerist glory; quite to the contrary, the selling of Christmas makes me decidedly ill. When you start seeing Christmas merchandise in all the stores the day after halloween, when the Christmas ads start arriving in your mailbox before Halloween, when Bill O'Reilly starts his yearly whine about the mythical "war on Christmas..." you can't help but feel a little sick to your stomach.
What I love is the holiday season (sorry Bill, "Holiday" works just fine for me); this magical time of year when it's cold and dark outside, and people's reaction to those factors is to open their hearts to each other. Yes, holiday stress happens: the in-laws are coming, the shopping list still needs to be finished, the malls are crowded, the cards have to go out, blah blah blah. If you can pull your head out of all those things other people tend to expect from CHRISTMAS (!!!!), though, and look around, you might be surprised at what you see.
People walking down the streets smiling each other. People who would ordinarily be "too busy" helping to push a stalled vehicle out of the street. Money going into Salvation Army bell-ringer's kettles. Parents watching their children's grins with wistful, warm expressions on their faces. Even that annoying guy who's always talking on his cell phone is making plans for a holiday party.
See, holiday specials on the Family Channel notwithstanding, the true meaning of the season isn't the presents, cards, or bountiful dinners. The wonderful thing about this time of year is that even in our high-paced, digital world we stop and take a moment to pay attention to each other. THAT's the part of the Holiday Season (bite me, O'Reilly) that I truly love.
Yeah, the commercialism and expectation of this season is a drag, but I'm sure if you try hard enough you can step off that mad merry-go-round, sip a cup of hot chocolate (or peppermint latte, if that's your preference) and take a breath you'll remember the joy that always accompanied this time of year back when you were smaller. Here, let me give you a hand... Click here and listen to a station I made just for you :)
(You've heard of Pandora, right? It's the coolest streaming music station out there!)
Keep a smile on your face...