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I ran into this guy yesterday. Or a reasonable facsimile of him. Lance and I had decided that we had to venture out of our cozy nest for supplies, being that we were out of nearly everything. It takes a lot to pry us out of the nest, which is only because we're deliriously happy here. So anyway, out we go, stopping to order snow tires for my cute little Juke on the way. We were reminded to do that by the snowflakes that started floating happily down shortly after we left home. The first measurable snow of the season!

The snow made me start to feel all Christmassy. And I found my Christmas Play List on my iPhone, plugged it into the car, and hit Play. John Denver and the Muppets' 12 Days of Christmas (Ba DUM BUM BUM!) Reba McEntire's holiest ever rendition of Oh Holy Night. Zooey Deschanel and Leon Redbone's version of Baby it's Cold Outside (best ever, maybe.) And I started feeling even more Christmassy.

By the time we entered the car dealership I was humming Silent Night and smiling ear to ear. Christmas season makes me feel that way. I can't help it.

Inside, a man behind me in line, grouched most grouchily, “It's not even Thanksgiving yet!”

It dampened my spirits not one bit. (I'm very good at not letting the fickle moods of others decide my mood for me.) However, it did make me wonder why some people seem to resent and kind of dislike the holiday time of the year. I'm Wiccan by choice, and I observe and deeply revere the spiritual symbolism of the Winter Solstice. But I also just love Christmas. I love all the elements of it that were adopted from earlier Pagan observations, the tree, the mistletoe, the big shaman in the red suit flying through the air on reindeer. (More on that later, or just buy and read When Santa Was a Shaman for all the fascinating information!) I love all the Christian symbolism of the holiday too, which hearkens back, truly, to what this holiday has always been about; the absolute promise that, even in the midst of the darkest of times, the light will return. It is never gone. It is more powerful than the dark. It is the light of hope, of love, of life, and it prevails. Beautiful. And beautiful how we're all observing the same things and sharing each other's symbols and loving each other.

I also love the modern, commercial aspects of today's Christmas! The lights and decorations everywhere you look, the music and the jingle bells. The displays in every store. I love spending time thinking about and shopping for the perfect gifts for the people I love. I love making wish lists of my own! I love everything about Santa Claus, and I write him a long letter every single year. What's not to be joyous about?

Anyway, I may be a few weeks ahead of schedule here, but I'll tell you what, I am IN the spirit of the season, giving heartfelt thanks for my happy life, and basking in every snowflake. (Even the ones I'm slipping on while awaiting those snow tires.) And I am not going to lose this feeling until New Year's Day, when it will begin to wane very slowly until it is replaced by my annual bout of Spring Fever when I'm counting robins, and returning geese, and red buds on the trees, and listening for the red-winged blackbirds' mating calls.

So what do you think causes some people to be Scrooges? Aside from those who've suffered some heartbreaking loss and still associate the holidays with that, I think the rest of the “humbug crowd” are mostly just feeling the fear that comes from believing in lack. But that's just my theory. What's yours? What do you love about the winter holidays? What traditions are you looking forward to this year?


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