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Christmas is a chance to brighten days

I think Christmas in my favorite holiday.

Maybe it’s the commercials about layaway plans or the music stations playing hours of Christmas music — by the way, my favorite is “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole — that gets my adrenaline pumping! Whatever it is, around this time of year, just before Thanksgiving is when I feel a sense of euphoria or what I’d like to call “extraness.”

As a child I would always get excited about Christmas. From getting new clothes or fashionable Barbie dolls (I know, such a girl) to owning my first vehicle — a Barbie jeep, Christmas was the holiday I most looked forward to.

I’ve lived in places where I’ve seen snow blanket every piece of green on earth and I’ve lived in places where snow would simply melt away by noon that day. Not saying that having a “white Christmas” is what the holiday is all about but visually, snow is aesthetically pleasing and helps me get into the holiday spirit: oh how it would just snow, and snow and snow like that in Selma! As it has been told, Christmas is a time for others to forget about self and embrace “giving.” Growing up the popular saying, “It is better to give than to receive” had been a family mantra in my house. Whether we had a little or a lot, whether we had what we wanted or what we needed, if our next-door neighbor didn’t have food or money for groceries, we would give them our last dollar to ensure they did. Giving your last or sacrificing, is something I have taken with me into adulthood. I was confident in knowing that one day, be it the next day, next month or next year, I would get it right back. And I did, each and every time.

So when you go into this Christmas season, don’t buy gifts because it’s a habitual activity or because you are afraid of what others might say if you don’t live above your means. Do something as simple as giving someone a ride who may need it. Or help someone who may need assistance putting groceries in his or her car. Give someone a hug, kiss or tell him or her, “I love you.” It may just change someone’s day and you’ll feel better when you do.