Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

It seems I’ve been hearing Christmas carols since mid-November—around the same time Walmart set up their Christmas trees and decorations. Now, all of a sudden, it seems Christmas is upon us. To be honest, though, I’ve been in Christmas mode since last December when I started writing Reinventing Christmas for release this year.

I’ve learned that the spirit of Christmas created by songs and decorations can only survive for so long in one hundred and four degree heat in July. Then it becomes downright annoying. At this point, the challenge for me has been to find a resurgence of Christmas spirit now that the book is finished and published.

In my ‘day job,’ I’m a social worker with a non-profit organization. This is the busiest time of our year and the time I most love. Why? Because we have an Angel Tree and collect and distribute presents for children to thirty or more families—usually over 100 kids. We work like crazy and at a fever pitch those last few days before Christmas, including the weekend, and I find myself filled with sympathy for Santa’s elves. But then I see the kids—the gleam in their eyes when they look at a lighted Christmas tree. The joy when Santa rode by on a fire truck at last week’s Christmas parade. The anticipation when they talk about what they want Santa to bring. And I look forward to the innocence of the voices of the childrens’ choir at Christmas Eve mass. Always makes me a little weepy.

Of course, I see the other side, too—the parents who say they’ll have to tell their kids Santa can’t come this year because they’ve lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their bills. But that’s where I (along with my co-workers) get to make small miracles happen. Not on our own, by a long shot, but through the generosity of donors who buy everything from mittens to bicycles.

In my own childhood, I never had a Christmas without gifts. Even when my father’s work had been cut back, my grandparents came through. If anything, I was spoiled. And I can’t bear the thought of a child without a gift at Christmas, though I know that will be the reality for many kids in these hard economical times.

A five-year-old came into our office today with her mother who was there to get a voucher for food. I asked the little girl if she was excited about Christmas. She grinned and nodded, her eyes lighting up as she said, “Santa’s bringing me a Barbie.” And I knew that to be true, because I had written it down on our list to ‘Santa’ myself.

Yep, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Something else to help you get into the Christmas spirit is my new sweet contemporary romance, Reinventing Christmas. It’s available in ebook now at Champagne Books and at Visit my website at to read an excerpt and reviews.

Have a wonderful Christmas.



January Bain said...

Hey Linda, your post choked me up! Children are so dear to our world and bless you for helping them.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Well written as usual. You do valuable work. Bless you.

linda_rettstatt said...

Thanks, ladies. Most days I enjoy my job. But this time of year, I really have a great time playing elf. I can't write happy endings for all the people I see in need, but it's good to know I can have a part in creating a few happy ones.

Franz X Beisser said...

Here in Bedford Virginia we have a Christmas Station. A similar charity as yours. It is stocked with new and lightly used donated gifts.
Great post. I love reading positive stories.