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Fri, March 22

Find the joy

One reason to rejoice is that we are still above ground. (Adobe Images)

One reason to rejoice is that we are still above ground. (Adobe Images)

It's almost that time again.

We are singing Christmas songs in our head and enjoying all the decorations on people’s homes.

My mom used to say that Christmas just didn't feel the same, once they left Chicago. If it was not cold and snowy, it was different.

Moving to sunny San Diego changed that for her. We kids didn't really get what she was saying. Until we moved to Washington state, that is. It seems that Christmas and cold weather do go together. Even here in Arizona it feels like Christmas.

I know the holidays are not the same for everyone, but I believe we all have a Christmas story in us. A special holiday that stands out from all the rest. Perhaps it was when you were a child. Or maybe the very last Christmas you shared with your parents before they passed. Memories from the holidays are usually the ones that stay with us forever. Some good, some bad, but in our hearts none the less.

Just when you think you have seen every possible Christmas movie, a new one comes out. Personally, “Christmas Vacation” still remains my favorite. I think I have seen enough “Frosty the Snowman” and “Rudolph” to last a lifetime. Do the kids still watch those?

Here's a quick story to share. My sons are 11 years apart. Of course, the older one got on to the Santa Claus thing long before the young one. I seem to recall the oldest telling his baby brother that perhaps he should really think about whether or not Santa was a real guy or maybe just something for little kids. He was still getting presents under a tree that came from Santa, so how could this be true? When he came to me and wanted to know if Santa was real or made up, I had to think on that one for a minute. Here was my answer.

"Santa is real for as long as you believe in him,” I said. “When you stop believing, he stops coming. Brother does not get stuff from him anymore because he doesn't believe Santa is real anymore. Someday you will feel the same way."

He just looked a bit puzzled, but my answer seemed to be just what he needed to hear. I only had a few more years of Santa Claus in my home. I have to admit, I kind of missed it.

I was happy to see that my oldest son did exactly the same with his own children as I had done with him and his brother. Whether or not you believe in Santa or even if you do not celebrate Christmas anymore, take a moment to remember a very special Christmas you had and feel that joy once again.

Whatever may be going wrong in your life, set it to the side for at least this one day. Rejoice in the fact that you are still above ground every morning and find your smile again no matter if you celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas. Just enjoy the day.

As your memory begins to fade with age, I hope everyone can still find that happy place and time that is forever in your heart.

Have a Happy Holiday, no matter what you call it.

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