I'm always amazed and uplifted by the Christmas novels that are out this time of year. I spotted this one in the store today by the wonderful Debbie Macomber. I go to her books when Stephen King scared the bejesus out of me.
I generally see Christmas as an extremely stressful time of year where there is never enough time or money. The spirit of Christmas has turned into a can-you-top this game. One that tires and stresses us.
The Christmas after 9-11 was different. Both my children were on top of those towers 11 days before. Living across the bay from NYC with a good view of the Trade Centers (a place where half our relatives, friends and neighbors worked) we were struck very hard. We waited days to find out who survived, the stench in the air lasted for weeks and now we constantly run into people who worked the clean up. They all have breathing disorders. If you ventured back into the city you were met with National Guardsmen with guns checking out your cars. They were at the entrances to the bridges and tunnels, the police were out in force all around you. The walls of Port Authority was lined with pictures of the missing. We went to a play and after the final curtain Valerie Bertinelli came out and thanked us all for coming back to Broadway and encouraging us to take back our city.
That Christmas was different. We walked the stores searching for those perfect gifts and just felt grateful. We had our family. We came so close to losing everything that really mattered that gifts were just stuff, useless stuff. None of it mattered.
Debbie Macomber's books tell us this too. Most of her stories are about what's really important and how its the people around us who make the difference in every way that counts.
So, what's your take on the Christmas season? Love it or hate it? Or something else?