For the last few weeks, I have seen the hashtags #christmasiscancelled and #christmasisnotcancelled.

Of course, the Christmas spirit isn’t something that can be canceled or not canceled. Remember in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas when the Grinch puzzled over the fact that Christmas came without ribbons or tags, packages, boxes, or bags?

Possible solutions for celebrating Christmas this year center on virtual meetups, buying online, and ordering out for food. These tangibles may enhance the feeling of Christmas and discharge the longing for something different, but they don’t make or break Christmas.

Let’s consider instead that this year we are offered an opportunity to go inward and focus on what truly matters.

I have experienced many Christmases that were not what I would have wished. Loved ones were absent, money was short, food was less, and there were no presents. They were hard Christmases. I felt angry, sad, and betrayed. I felt the pain in my heart from the memories of yesterday. Yet, I found faith in understanding that plans and dreams often change. That even while I long for baking extravaganzas, mom’s prize divinity, watching White Christmas, and 24-hour marathons of A Christmas Story with the kids, I can choose how I respond. I can decide to stay sad, or I can transform my sadness into something better, or at least different.

The Grinch finally concluded that the spirit of Christmas means “a little bit more”. It isn’t about baubles, gifts, and giant roasts. Christmas spirit is kindness, giving from the heart, goodwill, cheer, love toward one another. It’s a feeling of which everyone can partake. When we put away the presents and unplug the tree lights, what we have left is those things that can’t be measured in dollars and cents.

What’s left is ourselves with our good hearts.

Good times and bad hurry by.

Through both, we can keep the Christmas spirit alive by remembering to keep peace in our hearts and share goodwill, not just on December 25th, but every day, in each moment, all through the year.

From our home to yours, Merry Christmas! Keep the Spirit of Christmas alive!