Seized by the Christmas Spirit

Harry and Jean hadn't planned to get a tree this year.
He lost his job before Thanksgiving and she just received a pay cut.
Walking into the grocery store they saw a lonely bedraggled spruce
Marked down because it wasn't straight or well shaped.
Abandoned and forlorn, it called out to them for rescue.
The dry brittle little tree with a bare spot destined to face the wall
lost a good number of vacuum resistant needles
from the carport to their living room.
Even though they only had a few ornaments,
one string of lights and a lot of tinsel
When they plugged in the tree and turned out the lights,
The glitter of silver icicles and the pine smell
touched Harry and Jean as they were seized by the Christmas Spirit.

Nancy vowed a deeply religious vow sworn on a stack of Bibles
She would not eat ANY Christmas cookies, cakes, treats or candies.
She wanted to weigh exactly the same--or less--

at the end of December as the end of November.
The beginning of the month her resolve was strong.
Red and green M&M's didn't tempt her.
Ribbon candy was easy to walk by.
Decorated sugar cookies
in the shapes of wreaths and Christmas trees let her be.
Fruitcake with brandy icing couldn't hold her eye.
But as Christmas eve approached, she grew too confident.
The fateful day came at the Sullivan's Christmas party.
Possibly someone spiked the punch
or maybe Nancy was getting a little too jolly
When she spied the plate of Swiss chocolates.
Her trembling hand reflexively reached out...
And into the intercepting hand of her husband John
who guided her longing into his arms for a kiss under the mistletoe.
As Nancy was seized by the Christmas Spirit.

Jack was flying Christmas Eve

because it was the only flight
he could book home to his family in Los Angeles
after a grueling emergency business trip to Boston.
Changing planes in Chicago in the winter is always a risk.
He looked out anxiously into the damp cold night air.
The sky began to turn sodium orange as snow swirled in the lights.
Panic set in as one by one each connecting flight was canceled.
Passengers cursed their bad luck and tired children began crying.
Ticket agents made helpless apologies
as long lines formed for the telephones.
Jack had a sinking feeling in his stomach
as he contemplated waking up Christmas morning
in an airport waiting area.
In the snack bar, a white bearded fellow wearing a red fuzzy suit
reached down and pulled a battered old guitar out of its case
and began playing ... Christmas carols.
Jack felt magnetically drawn to him
as a crowd gathered and began to sing.
Suddenly Jack forgot his angst
and was seized by the Christmas Spirit.

Angela had designed a foolproof test for the existence of Santa Claus
She had gotten her best friend Paula to write the letter

and she had addressed the envelope all by herself to the North Pole
and mailed it guessing the exact postage required
with a pretty collage of stamps.
She made sure her parents didn't know
the "Crabby Sally" doll she wanted was on the list.
If Santa was real, she'd get it. If not she'd know the truth.
When Christmas morning came
Angela reveled in opening the many presents she received
from Mom, Dad, Grandma Sady, Aunt Sue, Uncle Jim,
Cousin David & Emily, and and and ... one from Santa!
The one from Santa, she saved for last.
She held her breath as she tore off the wrapping paper.
Her face fell immediately when she saw it was a "Preppy Patty" doll.
Either Santa was a fraud
or he was illiterate and couldn't read Paula's writing.
Just then the phone rang. It was Paula calling for Angela.
"Santa must have recognized my hand writing" she sobbed.
"I got the Crabby Sally doll you wanted
and didn't get the Preppy Patty doll I wanted."
Angela smiled as she was seized by the Christmas Spirit.

Whether on the branches of an evergreen or under the mistletoe,
Whether carried in song or wrapped and tied in a bow,
The Christmas Spirit is lurking out there

just waiting for an opening to brighten the eyes of our inner child.

Copyright (c) 1998 by Rev. Samuel A. Trumbore. All rights reserved.