CPR for the holiday spirit

Editor's Note: The following is a 'Letter to the Editor' appearing in Friday's edition of The Evening Sun. Working on bringing our 'Letters to the Editor' back to life. For now, I'll occasionally place them under the 'Opinion' tab.

Dear Editor,

Where has all the holiday spirit gone? It seems to have checked out as of years late; marking what appears to be a steady decline in my short time on this earth alone. It is a shame. Itís hard to say what the reasoning is, or just why it seems the human element is lacking from humanity these days. All in all, it is quite disheartening.

The thing about the holiday spirit, though, is that it lays dormant. It may be covered by years of hard times, or tarnished by greed and other plights of this world. But it is still there. There is that one holiday moment for everyone that has warmed their heart and reminded their head of the great things this world has to offer and the great people we get to share it with. Itís easy to get caught up in the bells, the whistles, the smoke and the mirrorsÖ blahÖ blahÖ blah. Behind all of it though, stands the holiday spirit. Itís the same spirit evident in the classic movies; itís the same spirit evident in the newer Home Alone. Itís not the movie. Itís the feeling you get when surfing through the guide and discovering itís coming on in 5 minutes. Itís about going into the grocery store and seeing eggnog back on the shelves. Itís about 30 days of cheesy music. Itís about a time of year.

The holiday spirit differs for everyone. There are the extremists. The people that have snow globes on the front lawn larger than their house. I love it. These guys take it to the next level, and bring pride to the holiday spirit. Many a childhood memory was created by the guy on the block whose house looked like an airport at night. Lights and grandeur, holiday stories and song; the extremists incorporate it all and blast mankind with an epi-pen full of soul. Inspiration for the masses, this rare breed is what itís all about.

For some, the high speed LED Santa Claus mono-rail around the back forty is not their expression of the holiday spirit. For some it is being at home with loved ones. A good man, and friend, from Oklahoma put it in perspective one night with an extended conversation about spending Christmas in Afghanistan. We often forget the price of freedom and those who have to pay the bill. I, for one, couldnít begin to imagine the holidays half a world away from everything I know and love, and I would never presume to. But it is people, just like my good friend, that keep the spirit alive inside of themselves, not only the holiday spirit, but the American spirit as well. May God bless our servicemen and women across the globe during this holiday season.

Inspiration is abundant during the holidays. Make it contagious. Find your silver lining, trace back to that special memory of the holidays. Do your part to preserve the spirit, help create memories for the young, the sick, the disadvantaged. Donít be a black cloud.

The holiday spirit is also hope. Plain and simple hope. Itís that underlying feeling that everything will somehow be alright. Things donít always go as planned. Bad things happen. But during the holiday season, there is an undercurrent. A promise ebbing and flowing through all of humanity. Even if it is only for 30 or so days a year, the holiday spirit, hope in essence, gives validity to the ideal that not all is lost.

Aristotle once said: ďHope is the dream of a waking man.Ē Letís hope so. Choose to live.

John Kampe


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