What? Christmas is
over? Not around here. More people than ever are still turning on their
Christmas lights. Woodstock, Vermont is still shining with holiday spirit. I
think I know why this is happening.
In November, 2004, my family and I moved into our
present home in New Hampshire. We bought a small fir tree and planted it in our
front yard. It was only about twelve inches tall. This was going to be our
Every December since, we’ve decorated our tree
with colored lights and comment on how much it’s grown. It makes us smile when
we see it through the dining room window at meals and through the kitchen window
when we do the dishes. It makes us happy.
Even though the holiday season is over, we still
light our tree every night. The feeling of hope that Christmas inspires now
extends to our everyday reality. The happiness, the camaraderie and the sense of
peace and goodwill are remembered every night as we flip the switch and see our
beautiful tree. The lights twinkle in the dark and remind us of all our
Christmas is not merely one day a year - it’s an
infinite ideal of hope, love, joy, and peace.
You don’t have to be Christian to appreciate this
sentiment. Call it what you will - The Festival of Lights, the winter solstice,
whatever. It’s the time when the cares and woes of the year are temporarily
ignored while the atmosphere of life changes to the positive end of life's
Christmas is a season of smiles. Even the downcast
and grumpy can't help but be affected by the overall holiday spirit, however
temporary. I’m a New Yorker. I’ve seen it. Hearts are lighter and filled with a
generosity of spirit.
After the big day is over, we have New Year’s Eve.
We watch the old year die, but the new year begins with refreshed hope. The days
lengthen - new dreams awaken.
As 2013 starts, I've decided I’m going to keep
lighting our little tree.
My heart refuses to comply with convention. The
hope Christmas exemplifies is eternal, and it does my heart good to have a daily
In these dire times, you, too, might want to keep
at least one light burning as a sign of your hope for better things. Let’s all
work to keep the spirit of the holiday season alive all year round.
Together, we can make a better world, a world of
smiles and optimism.
L A Morgan is a freelance writer. She lives in New