- Written by Scott Titterington Scott Titterington
The holiday spirit is out there somewhere, right?
I have to say that I’m a fan of the Christmas stories that show someone’s transformation from a cynical, bah-humbug person to a person with a greater vision. The two characters that come to mind are Scrooge and the Grinch. I’m not really an expert on either, other than having watched them throughout my childhood and taking in their lessons as I grew up.
It was easy to watch the Grinch as a 10-year-old and declare in my mind that, of course, every Who down in Whoville was right that Christmas was about “a little bit more” and had nothing to do with ribbons and tags, packages, boxes and bags, when I was secure that there were presents under the tree with my name on them.
And of course, I knew, with the same security of a large Christmas Dinner with turkey and ham, pies and potatoes, and an extended family gathered around a couple of tables, that it was the love and kindness of the family that mattered more than the feast.
I’m not sure when I actually started to believe the things I told younger self, but at some point I think we come to realize that life is not a race to die with the most toys, as the saying goes, but a fairly short opportunity to make a connection with our world. The holidays seem to be a time, though, when we’re invited to pause, to spend a moment feeling our better selves…the ones who push through our shell of my side versus your side and my lifestyle versus your lifestyle and my beliefs versus your beliefs; the ones that view all others, simply, as fellow travelers on this strange path of life.
From that view, we can model heartfelt generosity and charity and kindness to our children (and, in a way, to ourselves because when we act that way, it starts to grow in us too). It happens all around us this time of year. People come together for community causes, people donate food and gifts to charity, people attend performances that uplift them and make them think and feel.
I love watching the moment of transformation of these characters, what we call the ah-hah moment. And I believe we all have that ah-hah moment every year at this time and we can choose to pause and notice it or choose to continue to scurry along our little squirrel paths gathering our own little nuts.