The spirit moved me…


Holiday spirit.  Two words that, for many, have been difficult to muster up this year.  Especially for me, someone who usually cannot wait for the first Christmas music to start playing on the radio along with the sappy and fun holiday movies that pop up on television. Oh yes, besides being a Hallmark movie junkie. I scour the zillion channels on FIOS for White Christmas, A Christmas Story, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and the 1951 version of A Christmas Carol.  In fact, this year, I spent time on Christmas Day watching both Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman…just for snowflakes and giggles.  Both brought back memories of watching the shows when my own children were small.  That was a yearly tradition, along with never missing the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center.  Such simple things that made the holiday spirit come alive.

This year was so different.  Too many things became almost a chore, a tiring ritual with a lack of excitement involved as the preparations began.  Let’s face it, with the virus undercurrent flowing everywhere, so much of what we’ve all taken for granted was compromised.   No rushing into shopping malls for gifts, ordering instead from online sources and then hoping, wishing and praying with each tracking number received, that items would arrive in time for Christmas.  No large family, or other, gatherings to celebrate the season, opting for Zoom or other apps for human connections.

Still, underneath it all, some element of seasonal spirit managed to remain, mainly with the happy memories of holidays past and the hope that there would be more in the years ahead.  Somehow, these very thoughts kept dancing in my head as I made every effort to dive into my usual seasonal frenzy.

Our annual Christmas tree trek.  With the grandkids, of course.  (I blame them for choosing the 10’ tree that takes over the living room.)

Decorating the house, inside and out.  Bows and lights everywhere.  (The electric provider loves me during the holidays.)

The traditional Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes dinner.  Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, Mussels, Clams, Scallops, Bacalao, Anchovies.  (I know that’s 8 fishes.  I cook outside the box.)

Leaving cookies and milk for Santa (which I end up consuming while I’m wrapping presents).

Misplacing Baby Jesus for his birthday debut in the Manger (finally locating Him at 3 on Christmas morning).

Tracking Santa’s flight on Norad. (Yes, I still do that.  Don’t judge.)

And…one of the best of all, reading The Night Before Christmas to my grandchildren on Christmas Eve.  No matter how old they get, or how old I get (and can still hold the book up without assistance) this will be a precious family tradition. 

My hope is that they all carry it on, long after I’m gone (or I will come back to haunt them, like Marley’s ghost!).


workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop…List the top 7 things that fill you with the holiday spirit.



  1. madamdreamweaver says:

    Sounds like, despite everything else, you really know how to celebrate Christmas well anyway!

    • Patty says:

      I do my best, Madam…it’s just a few days to try and set aside all of the negative things and enjoy a lot of happy commotion!

  2. Kat says:

    I think you echo so many of our feelings exactly! The current status of the world is so filled with worry. The best we can do is hold close the memories of Christmas pasts, hope for a return of normalcy, and just maybe manage to sneak in something new to appreciate this season. Merry Christmas to you! I love your traditions and funny memories!

  3. Patty,

    Last year was a bit for most to bear. I reminded myself and still do that God is in control. I know Covid is real but I’m having a hard time accepting that it’s worse than the flu. Of course, I don’t like being sick so I stick with staying at home and the mask mandate. We take too many things for granted and it’s not until we lose it that we realize how much we depend on or miss those things. This will pass, though. I’m glad you found reason to celebrate the best possible ways for Christmas. We did our best as well and enjoyed ourselves despite the limitations. As a Christian I know Christmas follows me throughout the year instead of just one day that many tend to focus on. Here’s to 2021 being a happier and healthier year!

    • Patty says:

      I’m still holding onto Christmas here, leaving the candles in the windows and the wreath on our front door. For me, it’s a reminder of gentle and more loving times, especially in the midst of all the continuing madness.

      Stay well and stay safe, Cathy! And thank you!

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