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Capturing the Spirit

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It’s that time of year when I dig deeply within my psyche and suspend all disbelief in magic and listen with my whole heart and all my senses for the jingling, tingling bells of Santa’s sleigh.

Does it sound silly for an adult to still believe in Santa? Perhaps, but it is the uniqueness of human beings above all other animals to ignore what they know to be logical and instead have faith in the unknowable. If I can believe in God, I can also believe in Santa or at least the spirit of Christmas; for they are to me one and the same.

I can still smell the enticing aroma of my Grandmother’s turkey roasting in the oven, slathered and basted in butter, adorned with slices of bacon, the steam rising off the peas and pearl onions, the moist cornbread muffins still warmly wrapped in fresh linens. My grandmother would line up pies (always a chocolate silk pie) on the counter as we kids scrambled for preferential treatment by offering to help her in any way we could.

I always looked forward to seeing my cousins who had traveled from Minnesota and Virginia, some years through treacherous snow, almost as much as the toys that would be neatly wrapped and carefully placed under the tree (my Grandma was the most meticulous wrapper and every present looked like a Rockwell treasure).

When no one was looking, we would sneak a peak under the tree and spy which presents were ours. It never mattered to me how many I received, for the fact that I received any was a confirmation that my Grandparents thought of me and loved me (an important factor to an adopted member of the family).

As fate would have it, there was a cousin almost my age, and most of the time we got along great. We would torture our two boy cousins, who were close enough in age that torturing was a respectable pastime. There were card games where everyone was allowed to play regardless of age or skill level, football games with uproarious cheering and classic tales from my dad’s youth – which no matter how many times you heard them were always rich with details and told with enthusiasm.

After a long day of merriment, scrumptious food and feeling loved, we would shuffle out into the cold, shivering inside our chilled car and drive home to our cozy beds. As a tradition (something I still find myself doing) I would lean on the cold glass, my warm breath fogging my window and count the houses with Christmas lights as they became muted and opaque through the condensation – I can still feel that feeling, the anticipation, the break in the monotony of life, a moment of peace on earth and good will towards all men.

That is the feeling I attempt to capture every year, which is the spirit of Christmas.

This week marking the beginning of the holiday season, I would like to say thank you, Blogcritics writers, who work hard by putting your time, creativity, passion and expertise into making Blogcritics a really great place.

I will have known Eric nine years as of this December, and he has poured his heart into many projects, hoping that each one will be “the one” to finally make his mark on an art form that is close to his heart. Never have I seen him more fulfilled and proud of his efforts as he is of Blogcritics, and simply put, he couldn’t have done without each and every one you.

Thank you for also seeing the worth. Our family wishes your family a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and a Happy Holiday.

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About Dawn Olsen

  • Eric Olsen

    thanks Dawn, I too thank all of our writers and readers, without whom the empty echo would be overwhelming

  • http://www.foliage.com/~marks Mark Saleski

    very nice.

    despite the nearly out-of-control commercialism (it’s all run by a big eastern syndicate, you know!) my favorite time of year has arrived again.

    bring on the pumpkin pie!!!

  • Eric Olsen

    Yes, I often wonder what those who “expose” the hypocrisy of the season and/or national myths such as Thanksgiving hope to achieve. Do they really believe anyone older than about 10 is unaware that national myths and the “holiday spirit” are ideals to which we aspire, not facts to be debunked?

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    I remember when my now 18 year old daughter informed me that there was no Santa. I very calmly looked into her eyes and asked her where all those presents under the tree came from? She looked back into my eyes and being the perceptive young lady she was and still is said questioningly “Santa?” I said, “you got it and if you tell your little sister, Santa won’t be happy!”

  • Eric Olsen

    there are metaphors we all choose to live by – this is not self-deception, but a collective act of appelaing to our better selves

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com/ andy marsh

    I think that being Santa has always been more fun for me than waiting for Santa!