Celebrate because we can

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2021

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  It always has been. I enjoy the glitz and glamor of the season. This includes the lights. Even the tacky ones where it is more than apparent the owner was not graced with good taste and the displays that rival the Las Vegas strip.


I greatly enjoy the giving of gifts and the fun wrapping paper. It has become my habit to buy the most outrageous paper I can find. The more out there the better. This started one year when I found Justin Bieber paper (at the dollar store) and I wrapped every present for someone on my shopping list with it. I even double wrapped presents that already had decorative paper. It amused me that much.  The recipient was none too thrilled with my choice, but that just made it funnier. While on this topic, if you get a birthday present from me, don’t be surprised if it is wrapped in Christmas paper. As my mother would say, “just smile and say thank you. The wrapping isn’t the important thing, it is the thought that went into the gift.”


My favorite thing above all is that people are generally in a better mood and kinder at Christmas. It reminds me of the Louis Armstrong jazz standard, where friends are shaking hands and saying how do you do, and they’re really saying I love you.


Finding the Christmas spirit this year was a little more challenging. Even when our daily situations are closer to “normal”  we sometimes forget to stop and an enjoy what is in front of us. Take the time to enjoy the season.  One year was busier than usual and by the time I was ready to listen to Christmas music, it played on the radio for 10 minutes and then it went to commercial and when the music came back it was a rock tune from the 1980s. I had missed it.


A lesson for this, and every year, is to take stock of what we have. It isn’t perfect, but life never is. Imperfection can be part of what makes life fun.  Don’t get bogged down in the details and expectations. When reliving the past it is usually those imperfections that we remember most and laugh at. When my daughter Diane was about 3 or 4, we were making cookies and we made a mess. There was flour all over place including the floor. To her it was an adventure and she laid on the floor made “snow angels.”


Keep in mind that life is precious and a gift for the moment that is not promised for tomorrow.  Spend time with loved ones and do things that make you happy. Make memories, enjoy the season and laugh. Eat the cookie. It is easier to remember fondly than it is wish things had been different.  My family and I usually have lunch with my father on Christmas Eve. When my mother was alive he would give a toast to being thankful for another year together. It was difficult after her passing, but he has since remarried and his new wife has given him a new life and a reason to get up in the morning.


Merry Christmas and thank you for spending a few moments with L’OBSERVATEUR.


Christine Browning is general manager for L’OBSERVATEUR. She can be reached at christine.browning@lobservateur.com.