As the holiday season approaches with its frenzied pace, I wonder about what is meant when we talk about the “Holiday Spirit.” It is often not easy to define, as it is usually very personal in nature. I, however, believe it is quite simple. It’s in your heart; it feels warm and inviting, like the unconditional love a parent has for a child; you cannot buy it at any store nor can you borrow it from anyone else; it is a sense of joy that cannot be defined by one thing, but rather it is a collection of thoughts that just make you smile. You just have to find it, enjoy it, and share it with others. It is the intangible that makes this feeling of contentment so special and no amount of money, spending, or accumulation of things can replace it.
The lights, the decorations, the Christmas tree, the carols, and the seasonal stories, are all reminders of what so many of us are seeking no matter our personal values or religion – hope, belief in possibility, universal goodwill, and joy. The festivities at this time of year have the magical ability to unite a whole community in celebrating family and friends irrespective of different cultural traditions. The sounds of laughter, the wholesome emotion of excitement, and the contagious anticipation of what Christmas (or other celebrations) might bring, out dazzles those brightly coloured gifts and helps to link one person to another—old, young, friend, stranger…
On behalf of the staff at St. Margaret’s, I wish safe journeys over the holidays to those students who will be travelling home for the winter break. For those of you remaining closer to home, we wish you a restful holiday. We will welcome you all back in the New Year, with delight and anticipation, ready to share with you new possibilities and experiences. To our SMS families especially, enjoy this time to reconnect with friends and to fully appreciate the most precious of gifts—the children in your lives.
The best gift of all at this time of year is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
It is less about opening presents and more about opening hearts.
Note: The Head’s Tale will also be enjoying a rest but will be back “in circulation” in January 2016.