Thursday, December 18, 2008

"The Christmas Spirit", Have you got it yet?

Have you got it, yet? You know, "The Christmas Spirit"?
It's a feeling many try very hard to obtain, at this time of year.
We might even say to someone, or to ourselves, "I feel blah, and haven't gotten in-the-spirit!",
as if we're suppose to "feel the magic", like when we were a child.
Actually, it doesn't come to us by sitting around waiting, but "The Christmas Spirit", if you want to call it that, is rather simple to begin to acquire. Contrary to popular thought, the feeling comes through "giving", not "getting". We start by giving of one's self, to someone who is often forgotten at this time of year. Ignoring hurting people is easy to do, with all the hustle and bustle of Christmas. Who has time to help someone, when just resting your feet, would be a welcome relief.
The true "Christmas Spirit" is never conjured-up. It most likely will require getting out of your normal everyday routine, and most likely stepping away from the office, and even the shopping malls. It is simply mixing with people where they live their everyday lives, the place they move and breath. Sacrificing your own time, and resources, helps to bring about "The Christmas Spirit".
I had the following happen to me this year of 2008, even though it wasn't Christmas time, nonetheless, I experienced what I would call "The Christmas Spirit".

I dropped by my sister's place of business, called Attitudes Day Spa and Salon, just to say "hello".

"Here we are, cutting-up at her shop"
On that particular day, she was in the process of cutting a client's hair, with the girl's back facing toward me. She introduced her client to me, as she continued working. The overhead speakers were streaming tunes via the Internet, and a few customers were scattered throughout the salon, being pampered, like any normal day. I didn't have anything special going on that day, and my wife may have been visiting family in Texas, so I had some time to kill. I asked my sister, along with her customer, if they would allow me to play a few tunes on my harmonica, to which they replied, "Yes". I always carry a couple of harmonicas in my car, so I darted out to the car to grab one! Once back inside, I slid into a nearby barber's chair, and commenced to gently playing one of my favorite hymns, "Amazing Grace". I've heard it said, "Music has a way of soothing the soul", and "Amazing Grace" didn't let us down. In those few precious moments, God granted me the privilege of playing through a few church hymns, like "Sweet Hour of Prayer", and "Face To Face With Christ My Saviour". For some reason, I had the sudden urge to sing the balance of "Face To Face".
I know, I know, it wasn't Christmas back in the summer, but "The Christmas Spirit", which comes through giving of ourselves, was present with us in that big open room!
I couldn't see the girl's face, although my sister, facing toward me while she worked, gently lifted her pretty eyes, looking toward me, and smiling as our eyes connected. Returning a smile, I knew exactly what my sister was thinking. We both were mutually sensing God's presence amongst us. The girl sat quietly listening, and seemingly aborbing the moment. Unbeknown to me, she began to tear-up, and my sister later shared with me that the girl had been going through some tough events in her life.
We rarely ever know what people are going through at any given time. It is amazing when you let God minister words of hope, or a simple non-rehearsed song, to a stranger. I suppose it was a "God moment" that day! God moments happen when we don't plan anything, but just happen when going about our everyday lives! I am so grateful for the "God Moments", for they just happen when God is ready, and we're available.
So, we end with my original question,"'The Christmas Spirit"! Have you got it yet"? If so, then you'll see it's true meaning, and that is in giving, wherever, and to whomever, God takes you to this season, and on into 2009!
Merry Christmas!


juju said...

Hey Barry...thanks for remindin me! I never have the problem of gettin in the Christmas spirit..with the tribe we have surroundin us...they keep us reminded. :) Last year, however...THEY needed the reminder and it happened on Christmas mornin actually. I've always had a problem with kids not bein grateful or not appreciatin the true meanin of Christmas...or ANY Holy day for that matter...heck...most of the time kids cant even remember what they got Last year and that bothers me. So last year after watchin our little blessins round the tree, openin their gifts..smiles on their faces...playin..puttin stuff together...admirin each others gifts...well, within 20 minutes they started bickerin with each other and aggravatin. So, I watched them for a while as a plan began to form in my head. I then announced, "THAT'S IT! Put your toys away, & get dressed! We are leavin!" "where we goin, Mama?!" "We dont wanna go anywhere!" After John, Rachel & I had them loaded in the car I said, "I don't feel like ya'll are in the Christmas spirit. It hurts me that you're out of touch with the true meaning we're goin to go have dinner with the homeless." "the HOMELESS?!" "NO!!! Maaaa-MA!" We drove on to town, met up with our sister, Jeanne who was also havin a hard time with Her blessins and went to an old house on Meridian St. owned by a local doctor and his wife. They provide cheap housin for homeless tryin to better themselves and every year they have a big sit-down dinner at Thanksgivin and Christmas. A client of ours at work goes every year and helps. She had invited Jeanne & I to come but I knew I probably wouldn't because I would be busy enjoyin the children enjoyin Christmas. :) To make a long story short...the kids helped set the tables, fixed drinks, & served about 30 strangers that day. They sat beside them, ate beside them & talked with them. We spent most of Christmas day there in an atmosphere that reminded Jeanne & me of goin to Grandma's house. When we left that day on the way home they each one said, "I wanna do that Next year!" They never missed their toys..the arguin stopped...well, at least for a while. It was one of the best times I've had with my children and as our Dad was famous for sayin...'they enjoyed it, once they got started'.

Brenda Truesdale said...

Hello Barry!
Sure miss you and Connie! Thanks for the great Christmas Spirit reminder story. Anytime the song "Face To Face" is mentioned I tear up! My father had an excellent tenor voice and at one time made a recording of that song on an old 78 record. We had it in the family for years, but it went by the wayside somewhere. My Mom probably disposed of it in her early Alzheimer's years. Bo & Tim sang "Face To Face" at Dad's funeral. It will ALWAYS be a very special song to me. Thanks for the "moment" you caused me to have. Marka and Justin are having a little girl in April. Trevor married Nov. Marka's husband's little sister, Jamie. She is a Baylor Bear...graduated in May. God is so good!!
Hope you and your family have a very happy and blessed Christmas. My love to all....Brenda