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Getting the spirit of Christmas

By Merrill Ogden - | Dec 13, 2023

It’s mid-December! Christmas is rounding the “clubhouse turn” and headed into the “straightaway” (in horseracing language). We’re well past Thanksgiving and we’ve shifted the holiday gears. For many of us it’s the right time to get into the spirit of the Christmas season.

Sometimes “the Spirit of Christmas” is elusive. Sometimes we have to purposely do things to get ourselves into the mood of the season.

There are a few people who purposely try to avoid the mood. Their hope is to get through the season without being touched by the spirit of it at all. I suppose that there are some people around here who really don’t give a rip about Christmas. But I personally don’t know too many in that category.

Some people love playing the part of “Scrooge” and don’t want people to think that they enjoy any aspect of Christmas. I think for many in that category, it’s just an act. My dad was kind of like that. But I knew that he wasn’t nearly as “bah humbug” as he wanted us to think.

This year I’m trying to get into the spirit of the season by doing some legitimate Christmasy things. This past Saturday, I actually volunteered to get all of the Christmas boxes down out of the attic.

Normally, I keep quiet about that chore. And then when my wife asks about getting the Christmas stuff out, I give a big sigh and say, “Do we have to do that already? It seems like we just barely put that stuff away.” (I know last Saturday is much later than most of you are doing your decorating.)

Part of my Christmas preparations the past few years is to remember the old Bing Crosby song “The Secret of Christmas.” It’s one of my personal traditions. Here’s some of the lyrics to that song, “The Secret of Christmas:”

“It’s not the glow you feel, when snow appears. It’s not the Christmas card, you’ve sent for years. Not the joyful sound, when sleigh bells ring – Or the merry songs, children sing.

Yes, the little gift you send, on Christmas day – Will not bring back the friend, you turned away. So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas: It’s not the things you do, at Christmas time, But the Christmas things you do all year through.”

I would say that Christmas time is great time to start doing “Christmas things” all the year through for the upcoming year, if we haven’t been living that way already. It’s a great goal for all of us.

When you get a chance, get on the computer and go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DGzuUS4igo Bing Crosby “The Secret Of Christmas”

“The Secret Of Christmas” was written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn for Bing Crosby, and was first performed by Bing in the 1959 film, Say One For Me. Bing recorded “The Secret Of Christmas” with an arrangement by Frank DeVol for a single that year released by Columbia Records. Bing recorded the song again in 1964 for the album 12 Songs Of … www.youtube.com and listen to Bing sing that song. His distinctive voice is unforgetable.

If you’re having trouble getting into the Spirit of Christmas, you may have to make a point of doing something to help the mood along. Sometimes the mood doesn’t come to you; you have to go to it.

There are lots of ways to do this. Christmas concerts at schools and churches are one way. Listening to Christmas music on the radio is another.

For me, putting up lights and decorations may actually detract from the spirit during the actual process. I dealt with that on Saturday. I did decide for the second year in a row to not get up on the roof for placing lights.

The possibility of having a bad thing happen while on the roof seems to have increased lately, what with arthritis and rickety ladders. But decorating otherwise, involving untangling cords and replacing fuses and bulbs and cussing a lot ultimately really does promote the feeling of Christmas.

Sanpete has lots of opportunities to help those who are less fortunate and in need during the Christmas season. Helping others may be the ultimate method of getting the Christmas spirit.

There are Sub-for-Santa programs, Angel Tree projects and other organized efforts that make it easy to help. Consider participating this year with something like that. It will make you feel good inside.

We can do a lot individually and as families as well. We pretty much know who needs help in our neighborhoods. And it may just be an extra dose of neighborly love and caring that will make a difference in some people’s lives.

I know I appreciated the Snickerdoodles that were brought to me last Sunday night. A “need” was fulfilled.

Enjoy the season. I hope that one way or another you’ll be touched by the Spirit of Christmas. — Merrill


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