Extending the Holiday Season

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “The Secret of Christmas.” Are you familiar with it?

The little gift you send, on Christmas Day

Will not bring back the friend, you turned away

So may I suggest, the secret of Christmas

It’s not the things you do, at Christmas time

But the Christmas things you do all year through

I think for me that sums up how I feel about the season. We’ve all experienced it. During the holiday season, the people you wait in line with aren’t nearly as aggravating. Total strangers will open doors and smile and give you a pleasant greeting. When you drop items people are right there ready to help you pick them up. It seems that, no matter the setting, people are kinder, more patient and more pleasant during Christmas time.

And then most of us go back to being solidly within our own little world as soon as New Year’s has come. Why is that? If we appreciate the little kindnesses and graciousness of people during the Christmas season, why can’t we keep it with us any longer than one month out of the year.

This year I think I’m going to try something different. I’m going to try to extend the Christmas season and little bit. I’m not going to do anything particularly grand, like leave the tree and decorations up (though I think there’s nothing wrong with that) I’m just going to do two things to try to stretch out the season.

First, I’m going to keep candy canes around. If there is a more universal symbol of the holidays, I’m not sure what it might be. The candy cane is recognizable, consumable, and eminently affordable. It is symbolic on many levels and, perhaps most important, it is almost impossible to eat one without smiling! In my mind, candy canes are an easy way to extend the season.

The second is likely to draw a little more attention.

Like many people, I have a collection of hat and lapel pins. I started collecting them years ago around special occasions and activities. One of the pins that I have been given is of a Santa hat. It is a hat pin, but could easily be worn on a lapel for a suit or on a pocket of a dress shirt. It can be worn on a jacket, sweater or vest without seeming out of place. It is a little thing, but it is an intentional thing. I’m going to wear that Santa hat pin as often as I reasonably can. And when people ask me about it, I will simply share with them that line from “The Secret of Christmas,” and let them know that I am trying to do Christmas things all year through. And then I will wish them a Merry Christmas.

I think some people will be taken aback by my plan. I think I will find some people choosing to take offense at my actions. I think some will wonder if I have taken leave of my senses. But if I can keep myself in the holiday spirit, perhaps I can be an influence for kindness and patience in the lives of those around me. And that is certainly worth any little efforts that I might have to make.

What do you think of my plan? Feel free to leave comments below.

Go Forth and Conquer!

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