May the blessing of Christmas be yours until next time this year
This is my Christmas gift (or at least a wish) for you this year:
Close your eyes for at least a minute.
Take a deep breath, or several slow deep breaths. Certainly don't hold your breath.
Have no thoughts of Christmas day – preparation for, any assessment of its success, no concerns about gifts given or received.
Step away from TV, radio, social networks in whatever form.
Be still and — as the railroad crossing signs used to tell us — stop, look (you will need to reopen your eyes) and listen.
In this moment – that is all yours and yours alone and which can be enjoyed at any time — you may renew your childhood vision of the holiday.
It is no secret that when we become adults, we lose our innocence.
I think we lose it because we fear it. We wrongly equate innocence with ignorance, with being unable to get along in the world, with being naïve.
For the purpose of the wish, or this gift, I am equating innocence with a real awareness of the world, no preconceived notions, an openness to good things, even love.
A quick example: I stepped onto the back porch in a gray, cool morning of misty rain this week with the dog. It was not fully light. Toward the top of a nearby hill, partially obscured by the black line of bare trees there was a light. It was somewhere between yellow and orange but not the sun, it was electric and it shone from somebody's window.
The light, the weather, the moment is of no significance except that it happened and I noted it.
And now, I won't forget it.
Your time is precious, so my wish – my gift if you find it at all sensible — is for you to find holiday enjoyment in the moments you make your own.
It can be done in a room full of family, or in the quiet just before you go to sleep, or in the car, in a personal care home or even at work (or at least I hope so).
Suggestions: In a room full of family, focus on a child or an elderly person. Contemplate what they are thinking, however removed it may be from your frame of mind. Smile if they look your way.
Before you fall asleep, be thankful for the darkness. In the car, note the passing landscape, cityscape or whatever is in view and without applying opinion. In a personal care home, feel the love of neighbors and workers. At work, give co-workers their importance back, and to the self-important, if there are any, give them a smile of understanding.
Clearly I am suggesting that at least part of your Christmas celebrating be less raucous, less hectic and more thoughtful – indeed contemplative – than it might otherwise become.
It is a small wish, or a gift that need not be returned if not to your liking.
But to some, it may be that gift that “keeps on giving” and which can be shared with others.
Above all, find the peace of Christmas and may its blessing be yours until this time next year.
Meandering appears Fridays. To share your thoughts on this column (or on most anything) with Mike O'Hare, write to the Leader Times, P.O. Box 978, Kittanning, PA 16201 or via e-mail to email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Woman shot at Kennywood Park in ‘freak accident’
- McCutchen, Pirates hitters increasingly in crosshairs
- Don’t remove history’s lessons
- Philly’s new vibrancy lures crowds
- Pirates minor league report: Ramirez more mindful while at plate
- Starting 9: Pirates missing out on young bat
- Locke pitches 8 scoreless innings as Pirates edge Indians
- Grandmother of boy dropped at Uniontown Hospital says he’s in ICU
- Court attire can have impact, public defenders say
- State-owned universities spend millions in race to snare students
- Starkey: Bring back the Brawl!