Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sleigh Bells ring...are you listening?

Take something away and you want it more than ever. That’s the case this year for me with Christmas. The past few years I was having a hard time seeing past the endless trips to the mall and the endless supply of money spent on material things just to supposedly, show love. I have been irritated by the amount of cash flying on things that we all can really live without. But right now I would give anything to be making 14 laps around the mall parking lot in order to get the best parking spot. I can hear the constant bell ringing of the Salvation Army volunteers. I can taste the delightfully sugary frosting that tops sugar Christmas cookies if I concentrate hard enough. I luckily have gotten to the chance to watch a few Christmas movies here in Morocco and they surely got my spirit revved up. When you are submerged in your own culture year after year you find bits of culture hard to identify. But Christmastime is a huge culture all of it own. And being away from it is what has made me notice and appreciate it the most.

Christmas is tiny lights strung on a string. It’s songs by Nat King Cole and Bing Crosby. Christmas is watching Ralphy get his Red Rider BB gun over and over again for 24 hours straight. It’s driving around town looking at all the spectacular displays of shapes and designs of light people work so hard to create. Christmas is watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” and learning how important your life actually is. It’s being able to recite all the names of Santa’s reindeer, usually leaving out one. It is swimming in piles of used wrapping paper wondering where in hell you are going to put all this new stuff. Christmas is hard work all day in the kitchen. It is watching the men do the dishes when the meal is through.

I know you can’t see from my perspective over here but I hope to at least inspire you to get in my frame of mind. It’s easy to get annoyed with the constant traffic and the endless gift wrapping but please take just a minute to see the perfect beauty that is Christmas and soak in it for a moment. It is part of who we are as Americans. I am finding out so much more about who I am by looking at where I have come from.