Thursday, December 23, 2010

OPINION: Make Every Day Christmas

Just Thinking Out Loud
By Gary Jaramillo

So – how many grown people believe that a big fat guy named Santa really does come in the middle of the night and leave presents for all the little kids? Come on now – really? If you don’t still believe, you’ve lost a part of you. After all, we are all just bigger kids when all is said and done. We all still want the very best and coolest gifts, and if someone won’t buy them for us, we buy them for ourselves. There isn’t a person alive that wouldn’t give away everything they own to be a kid again and feel those feelings every time Christmas comes around each year. And if you say that you wouldn’t – you’re lying.
Every year I seem to have to fight my mixed emotions concerning Christmas and the Holidays. Around September I try to start hardening myself against the coming holidays. I tell myself, “I’m not buying anything this year for anyone – and I don’t need a damn thing either.” So there! Well, that worked for a couple of years and I have to admit I felt terrible about it after the holidays had past and I missed out on the things I had loved doing all of my life for Christmas. But now I have grandsons and it’s all brand new for me again. I sit with them on the floor at their house and get all excited about commercials for the coolest toys as both I’nyn and Bowyn yell, “I want that too, Grandpa.” I say “Okay-Okay,” and I’m ready to buy whatever they want. Oh boy, that’s the most wonderful feeling in the world – the way it used to feel – I can now feel all over again with my grandsons. My chest and head all full of silliness and excited about everything Christmas brings. I’m a kid again. Thanks big guy in the sky – you really know what you’re doing.
One thing I have realized, as well, is that our time in this place is definitely not forever. Forever is somewhere way down the road. We are only in a place called “right now”. And to me, that means do what you gotta do RIGHT NOW because forever is slowly creeping up on all of us – and there’s never a warning of when your “forever” begins.
I have that excitement in my belly again. Nervous about all of the wonderful things that Christmas brings. You know, like the little cookies and cakes and pies, carne adovado, tamales, posole, smiles from your mom and dad, visits from siblings and other family, the Christmas lights, and the hope that it all brings to our lives no matter our financial situation. It always seems something of a miracle that happens to make everyone’s Christmas just a little better. I’m an optimist no matter how low I get with my own life problems (and everyone has them), but I never give up – ever!
We got a kind of sign from Santa this year at the Mountain Mail. A young man by the name of Adam McGrath from Salt Point, N.Y., wrote a letter to Santa with a list of the things he wanted for Christmas. It was very simply addressed: To Santa at the North Pole – and nothing else. How it ended up here in Socorro and in The Mountain Mail P.O. Box is something we’ll never know. As luck would have it for little Adam, I just happen to love writing letters to children from Santa every year. Now we had no idea why we were picked to get little Adam’s letter to Santa, but there’s always a reason for everything. Sometimes we just never know what that reason is. So, I wrote a nice Santa letter with all the bells and whistles and holiday colors and Christmas joy along with it, and sent it to Adam back in Salt Point, N.Y. I hope he got his letter from Santa and it gave him a memory of Christmas and a story he can tell his grandchildren for the rest of his life. It took me all of 15 minutes to write his letter and make the paper and envelope dressy with Christmas decorations from the North Pole, and just maybe those 15 minutes will change Adam for a lifetime. If that’s the outcome, then I’m the one who has received a very special present indeed.
I hope my optimism and love for everyone who shares this planet with me rubs off on whoever I meet. We smile at one another but never really know how things are going, but what I do is try to spread a feeling of happiness. I still see the little kid faces on my friends who are now close to 60 years old, like me. I remember the days of playing in the street and the joy we all had in our friendships as kids even if we were poor and didn’t get much for Christmas. We had each other all year round and that was the real gift. Christmas was just an opportunity to feel even better about our lives. We were all happy with a little food, church, and being together as friends and family.
So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with acting the fool with your kids and grandkids during Christmas time. Heck, there’s nothing wrong with living with joy, faith in your God and living with the hope of better things to come every moment of your time on this earth. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with hugging a friend and telling them you love them, every chance you get. To heck with popular polls and all of that snooty stuff that says we have to act the way “they’ say we have to. Who are “they”, anyway? Live your life filled with smiles, hugs, kisses, and hope – and pass those things on to everyone you love and care about. Tell a stranger in the store to have a great day – and they always smile and might think you’re a little crazy, but they do like it. We all need to reconnect and remember as kids we didn’t let invisible walls keep us apart.
Make everyday Christmas, and give that one special gift (love) as often as you wish. No wrapping, and all it costs is your will to share it with someone.
I’ll be thinking of everyone on Christmas Day, and I’ll be praying that your day is so very special.
Viva con el amor en el Corazon y la esperanza en su vida.
Feliz Navidad!

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