Sarah’s Slice of Life – Such spirit through the year

Depending on whom you ask, many things signal the approach of Christmas — the fresh smell of pine, the glow of blurry Christmas lights strung around porch railings or the jazzy notes of “The Christmas Song.” 

However, for me, the Christmas season can’t really begin without first taking a trip to a cartoon wood where a few children skate on an iced pond, surrounded by trees covered with freshly fallen snow. 

Of course, I’m talking about the 1965 Christmas classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The animated TV special perfectly captures the Christmas spirit with its emphasis on cheer and faith, telling a story about puny Christmas trees, holiday plays and the true meaning behind the Christmas season. 

Actually, it’s the special’s signature song “Christmas Time is Here” that really makes it feel like the Christmas season. It harkens back to timeless memories of past Decembers with every piano note and every lyric sung by a choir of children.

However, there’s one lyric in that song that I find particularly interesting. In between lyrics about sleigh bells in the air, yuletide by the fireside, olden times and ancient rhymes, the song underlines the wish that “we could always see such spirit through the year.”

This wish highlights an important part about this festive time of year. Christmas is a time centered around ordinary things and simple occasions. Trees, lights, snow, songs, family, cookies and memories — the holiday season spotlights the ordinary and makes it sacred. 

Ultimately, this power often fosters a sense of appreciation for ordinary moments — those simple times of drinking hot chocolate with your family, walking down a street bathed in Christmas lights or listening to carols in the car. 

At all other times, these simple moments are just that — simple. But during Christmas, they carry a sacred weight, and they have the ability to become some of life’s
fondest memories. 

Because it’s Christmas, we remember icing cookies with grandma, taking a walk in the snow and watching a movie by firelight. Because it’s Christmas, every moment is infused with cheer, holly and glowing lights, which imbues simplicity with a heavenly significance. 

Although, perhaps it’s not the season itself that creates sacredness from this normality. After all, every day presents ordinary things worth noticing and remembering. Why do we seem to only appreciate them during Christmas?

It all begins with our willingness to see them. During Christmas, we possess a higher degree of determination to notice the little things that we might otherwise miss. We’re slightly more aware of ordinary things, of how those quiet, simple moments shape the crux of
our lives. 

In her poem “I wish I could remember that first day,” Christina Rossetti says that a moment which “seemed to mean so little, meant so much.” Her words perfectly emphasize the significance of ordinary moments and ordinary things. These things exist every day, but we only seem to notice and treasure them during the Christmas season. 

Of course, none of this should negate the wonder of Christmas. We should remember our Christmas pasts when we hang the wreath on the front door and the lights on the porch railing. We should cherish every Christmas cookie, mug of hot chocolate, rewatching of “Elf” and reading of Luke 2. 

Christmas is a special time filled with beauty and childlike wonder, and we should never take it for granted. Truly, during Christmas, every little moment means so much.

However, we should also take to heart the wish that we could always see such spirit through the year. These moments hailed around Christmastime occur every day. Such a spirit exists all year long, but only if we’re aware of how it fills each day with the same measure of joy and gratitude that
Christmas invites. 

For now, though, Christmas time is here, bringing happiness and cheer. 

Let’s enjoy every second of the season with the same joy and gratitude Linus had on that stage when he told Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about: “I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

Tate is the Editor-in-Chief for the Liberty Champion. Follow her on Twitter

Sarah Tate, Editor-in-Chief

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