I do get into the holiday spirit, or it gets into me; however much I might get down about myself, the world, the little things that go wrong in life... Christmas for me isn't Simply the presents, the shows, the shopping, the decorations. All of that feeds into it, but at the very root of things in the holiday season is that indefinable sense of hope and rightness and shared joy and renewal that seems to be the base message of any classic holiday special (All of which I watch gleefully, year in and year out, when the come on television).
My mother tells me that I am naive, even though among my siblings I also happened to be the one she worried about the least when I went away to college, in general she also seems to worry about me a little more than my siblings because I have an innate belief in the basic goodness of people, one that seems a little out of place in this day and age.
For me, though, that's what the season, the holiday, is all about - believing that people are good, that the world can be made a better place, be it with a strand of twinkling lights or a hopeful song, a pretty card, holding the door open for someone, gathering with loved ones old and new to maintain and reaffirm the connections that have been built over the course of this or many years past.
I love the tradition of the holiday; the things that ground me in the past of my childhood, of my family, or my own historical roots. Bringing home an evergreen and setting it up with lights and glass balls and little ornaments that are there not because they give it a pretty and Martha Stewart-y look, but because this one was sent from an old high school friend now across the country, that one was handed down from my great grandmother, this one an aunt helped me craft while babysitting for me when I was nine years old... Putting on holiday carols and singing along while writing out and addressing christmas cards to let people know that I'm thinking of them. Staying up late Christmas night with all the other lights out just watching the tree blink. Going to sleep and waking in the morning with more gifts under the tree than had been there the night before (and always, ALWAYS there is one addressed to me from Yukon Cornelius). Finding the perfect crazy little thing to put into the family Yankee Swap. Baking a triple batch of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and setting them out with milk (and cheerios for the reindeer). Going to midnight mass, and waiting for that one inevitable moment where everyone in the church is sitting there, white candles lit, in perfect, deliberate and shared silence.
Yes, I get into the holiday spirit, and it gets into me, and I always hope that somehow I can share this feeling of rightness with people; and I say Merry Christmas, and I mean it.