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Finally – I’m ready for the Christmas season

By Kevin Ashby
Sun Advocate Publisher

    Don’t get me wrong. I am totally against starting one holiday before one ends and especially Christmas. Don’t even think about playing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving.
    But after Thanksgiving – I am good to go. Bring it on. Christmas is now my most favorite time of the year.
    I know shopping habits are changing, but this year I hope people still want to get out and do some local shopping where they can rub shoulders with neighbors and experience first hand what good customer service is all about.
    For me, it is therapeutic going into local mom and pop stores and letting the ambiance take me over. I love their decorations, some of which have been being used for many, many years.
    These stores always have the best Christmas music being played in the background that adds to the shopping experience.
    If you are one of those who wait to the last minute, then come on down and join my club of procrastinators. This is when our local shops and stores come alive and help me feel like I can still enjoy the season even under deadline.
    I have been doing this for years and I see no reason for changing something that has always worked. Biggest thing is that we enjoy the process. We don’t let the buying get in the way of serving and loving others during Christmas.
    So, getting back to being okay with Christmas music after Thanksgiving – Bring it on. And last Sunday’s Messiah presentation at the high school was what I call a great beginning.
    I love this music. I love the words. I love the miracle of this scores beginnings and I love the miracles that come each year when the music and words are performed. For me, this is when my Christmas season begins.
    I find myself more friendly and smiling more. I actually start to care about what is happening with my neighbor. I start thinking about giving gifts with meaning, rather than giving gifts out of pressure.
    I have desires to go out and visit the homebound and share a plate of cookies. I find myself turning away from my needs and I start celebrating the idea that I am in a position to share what I have with others – even if it might be just a plate of cookies and a song.
    For me, these are the true meanings of Christmas.
    It is a great time of the year to buy and give gifts. It is a great time to anticipate what others will do for you. It really is a pretty good season to be selfish in our thoughts and expectations of others.
    But don’t let this desire for self appreciation get in the way of the true meaning of Christmas – that of remembering and loving others and brightening up their day in some small but meaningful way.  
    I love the Christmas holidays. Bring them on.

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