Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stumbling Upon The Spirit of Christmas on a Sunday Afternoon Walk

A candy cane wrapped in the
Spirit of Christmas
The holidays have us enjoying decadent foods laced with enough guilt to get us off our haunches to walk off a calorie or two. On the Sunday before Christmas, there are pretty decorations and lots of happy neighbors greeting each other with smiles, waves and, “Merry Christmas!” If the neighborhood was like that all year long, everyone would be out walking every day and we’d all be quite healthy.

As Hubby and I hiked up and down the hills of our neighborhood, waving and smiling, we felt exhilarated by the feelings of good cheer and cool winter air. We were enjoying each other’s company while we burned the calories of pancakes topped with leftover Brie, honey and berries. We were glad the indulgent meal had us out and about enjoying the afternoon, oblivious to the fact that someone was about to deeply touch our hearts.

Most folks that went by in their cars simply waved and smiled without slowing down. But one lady not only slowed down, she stopped. Her window was rolled down. She offered us a candy cane—in memory of her father.

She held a beautiful antique bucket filled with little candy canes. She went on to explain that every year on the Sunday before Christmas, her now-deceased father used to fill up the bucket with candy canes and give them out to all the children at church. The bucket will soon be donated to the Ramseur museum. But before she could donate the bucket, she explained she needed to fill it with candy canes one more time and give them out to honor the memory of her father.

When she drove away, Hubby took out two handkerchiefs. He gave one to me and used one for his own damp eyes. To say we were choked up would be an understatement. We were deeply touched and humbled to happen upon such a beautiful tradition and a daughter’s bittersweet remembrance of her father.

Weeks of people pushing and shoving, honking and being generally rude in the name of holiday preparations tends to squelch the Spirit of Christmas. But for Hubby and me, receiving one small candy cane revived that Spirit, warmed our hearts and filled us with joy.

As we each took a candy cane, we were reminded of the true meaning of Christmas, of being neighborly and of life. The things we get for Christmas are just not important. What we do for others during Christmas and all year long is what really matters.

Merry Christmas and may the true Spirit of the holidays brighten your New Year.

Micki Bare, mother of three, wife, writer, and content strategist is the author of Thurston T. Turtle books. 

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1 comment:

  1. Love this, Micki! Thanks so much for sharing this symbol of the true spirit Christmas can represent!