‘Tis the season when red and green are the new black, and the “holiday spirit” permeates all things commercial and otherwise. Â If you are politically correct, then almost all salutations, spoken, written, or otherwise are readily sprinkled with “HAPPY HOLIDAYS.” Â If you are politically direct, then, at least this week, it is “MERRY CHRISTMAS.” Â I am Jewish, and now that the Menorah is back in its box, I am perfectly happy to enjoy the trees and the lights and the wreaths and even the occasional mistletoe. Â I am also perfectly happy to say, MERRY CHRISTMAS to someone, and even happier when someone says MERRY CHRISTMAS to me. Â That is because for me, Christmas is not so much a religious holiday as a state of mind. Â It is has become an extension of the introspective warm and fuzzies that start with Thanksgiving and end at year-end on New Year’s Eve. Â It is during this proverbial “Holiday Season” that we are finally free from the go, go, go, get, get, get mentality of the rest of the year and at last have explicit permission to be a little sappy. Â This time of year it is okay to be reflective and appreciative. It is okay to be helpful and giving. It is okay to say “I love you” and “thank you” a lot, and to a lot of people who touch your life. Â Of course it should always be okay to do these things and they really should not be reserved for the last five weeks of the year. Â Unfortunately, many of us, myself often included, keep these emotions and their expressions in check most of the year, boxed up along with our lights, ornaments and Menorah’s…
I used to be a regular Scrooge come Christmastime, muttering “Bah Humbug” under my breath and frowning my way through my seasonal melancholy with an irritated demeanor that would have made Chuck Dickens proud. Â In recent years, however, I have seen less of my inner Ebenezer and more of my Santa self. Â I have watched my kids become young adults and grow beyond the age when they were in awe to wake up and find half-eaten cookies and a half-filled glass of milk as proof positive that indeed Santa had squeezed through our chimney and left all those colorfully wrapped gifts under the tree (yes, my kids grew up in a “mixed” household and we celebrated both Hanukkah and Christmas). Â I can fondly recall when it was my turn to wear the rented Santa suit and offer entertainment (and my lap) to my kids and nieces and nephews, using my best stage voice to give them a hearty, bellowing, “Ho, ho, ho!”
The Santa Clause…
I miss those days when my kids were young enough for Santa and Christmas to be more magical than commercial. Â When we could dangle the notion that there really is a Santa and the concept teetered precariously on the edges of their belief. Â Now, as I am older and presumably wiser, and as my kids have long since wised up to the fictional tricks of St. Nick, I have come to the realization that Santa does indeed exist. Â I am Santa, and so are you!
Will The Real Santa Please Stand Up?
As parents, we are all Santa, and like Santa in his North Pole workshop, we too, are working at being Santa all year long. Â As Santa, we must monitor and guide our kids from naughty to nice. Â We keep our lists and remind them of their great moments, and the moments that need some work. Â We offer our laps to our kids freely as a place of comfort, consoling and encouragement. Â We shower our kids with gifts all the time. Â Sometimes in the form of Christmas-like packages, but more often our gifts come in the form of constant love and support, doing it all to provide a happy roof overhead and food on the table every day. We ride our modern mini-van sleighs through the neighborhood, and always do our best to bring cheer to our children when they are most in need of it. Â We may not have long white beards, reindeer and elves, but we have the holiday spirit in us to be a good Santa all year round. It’s what parents do.
What do you think? Are you a real Santa too? Â I hope so, and send you and your family best wishes for a happy and healthy holiday season, and of course a Merry Christmas too!
“Ho, Ho, Ho!”
Jeff Sass is the proud dad of ZEO (Zach, 22, Ethan, 20 and Olivia, 19). Â He is also a seasoned entertainment and technology exec and active social media enthusiast. Â You can see more of Jeffâ€™s writing atÂ Sassholes! andÂ Social Networking Rehab and you can listen to Jeff on theÂ Cast of Dads podcast.??
Photo Credit: Â© Ivan Bliznetsov – Fotolia.com