December 4, 2011

In Search of the Christmas Spirit

     Did anyone feel this way, or it was just me... and Charlie Brown "I think there must be something wrong with me. Christmas is coming, but I don't feel the way I am supposed to feel "

 It is December, I knew it, but I wasn't feeling it ...
I wasn't in the Christmas spirit ...
For the first time in my life, I was lacking the excitement of the season; not the beautiful Christmas posts in my blogroll, neither did the weather make it easy for me to FEEL it,
I hated it!
However, it didn't cross my mind, not even once, that the magic of the holidays has disappeared for me, I perhaps, needed more time this year. I admit that with the passing of years, the magic of the holidays has been crowded out by the all too real world of worries and business, but I have always been able to hold my heart wide open for the spirit of the most warm and gentle celebration as I try for every simple joy in my life.
I needed to reread my favorite Christmas story "The Gift of the Magi" and to find my son's Santa Claus baby toy to remind me with distinctive voice that "The Magic of Christmas Lays in your Heart "  
I believe that, 
somehow I had allowed the expectant heart to be smothered by the vast array of responsibilities 
and too little time... 
Well, yesterday I thought to myself What is the spirit of Christmas after all ?!
I WANT my childlike wonder and excitement back !

like everything in life starts with a tiny little step,
I was ready to make mine.
The easy start was baking cookies - no surprise here -
what else invigorates the senses 
than the cozy aroma of baked goodies in the kitchen.
Our Christmas tree is still at the tree farm waiting for us to go and cut it only because I want this to be a special occasion and we haven't found time to organize it so far ( what a shame, I know ).
 I simply placed some Christmas touches here and there in the house just to start 

It hit me -
a wonderful idea that was in our Advent calendar last year, but for some unknown reason we didn't do it ( guess what , we don't have an Advent calendar this year ).
I shared it with my son, he embraced it (of course, even teenagers need the Christmas spirit alive, who am I kidding), 
I was in the line in the bakery buying pretzels.
We tied each pretzel with a ribbon and headed to the near forest, my son, my husband, our dog and I.
We chose the perfect tree and hung the pretzels from the branches as a gift to the birds.
We laughed, we took each others pictures, we watched the squirrels, we even captured  the "pretzels tree" on the camera, we ran with the dog ...
We were content, we were happy, we shared time together ...
and I felt it, 
the same warm feeling of my childhood, the same pleasant feeling that all the life simple joys bring in me, 
the self-giving side of me ...
I asked myself a kind of rhetorical question:
Isn't the Christmas spirit just the same warm feeling of happiness, joy of life, togetherness and love for each other ?

My mind was bombarded with ideas and projects.
My heart was full with well-known enthusiasm.
I hope to find time for some of them and if I don't, 
that's okay with me

The sign of Christmas we can find everywhere and in everything, don't you think ? 

* * *   
" Christmas is not a time or season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas "
~ C.Coolidge, 1927

Dear friend, thank you for taking your time and reading my thoughts.
Find the spirit of Christmas in everyday joys!

I am sharing these simple moments with  Suzanne and her readers on
Monday Moments 
and Amy ~ Virtual coffee , 
and Courtney ~ Feathered Nest Friday
Sherry ~ Home Sweet Home
Alison ~ Stuff and Nonsense



  1. Oh yes, you found it, Sylvia. And not only did you find it, you've inspired me! Beautiful photos, heartfelt words, and wonderful ideas. Now I'm feeling energized to open up the Christmas trunk and get started! :)
    Wishing you & yours a lovely one, my friend!!!
    ~ Zuzu

  2. This was exactly
    the message from
    our minister today,
    down to quoting
    Charlie Brown and
    Linus : ) He left us
    with the thought that
    "Christmas doesn't
    come to you, but is
    brought forth THROUGH
    you." If we embrace
    Christmas the way
    Jesus did, by doing
    for others, we find
    that missing "something,"
    just like your family
    did by serving the
    little animals of the
    forest. A perfect
    reminder for me to
    put into practice the
    words that filled my
    heart this morning.
    Thank you for the
    lovely pictures, too!

    xx Suzanne

    PS: You should come
    over and share this on
    Monday Moments, tomorrow.
    It is a message that we
    ALL need to hear!

  3. Cute post!
    We're having a rainy Sunday this weekend. ;-)

  4. This is such a beautiful post, Sylvia! Your words and pictures really touch my heart. Sometimes getting in the spirit of Christmas takes hard work, but when we finally find it, it's joyous!

  5. Beautiful post and photos! I love the idea of the pretzel tree! Glad you got your Christmas spirit back too. Blessings, Pamela

  6. Your post is so real and thought provoking. Dianntha

  7. Just very beautiful word and photos! Thank you for sharing your thoughts - and I don't know why I didn't think of sharing some treats with my friends at the butterfly garden I always to to. Thanks for the idea, I'm excited!

  8. The words and thoughts you shared with us today, Sylvia, should be read by everyone out there. So often we get caught up with waiting for the feeling to arrive, when we've been carrying it around with us all the time! We just needed to share it! THAT's when the Christmas "a-ha" moment touches our heart and soul. :) Thank you for this today. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  9. What a wonderful, wonderful post!! Thank you for the inspiration. Your photos are beautiful :)

  10. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on getting in the spirit. I'm glad you made your way. Your photos are so soulful and beautiful. Your sweet dog is a beauty too. I do think simply being in nature holds answers. And acting "as if" works wonders too. Glad I stopped by.

  11. I love everthing about this post, words, music, wonderful photos. The pretzel tree!! really inspired. If the spirit of Christmas doesn't come flooding in after all this then there is no justice in the world.

  12. Hi Sylvia,

    I am glad you found your 'sparkle' back! Baking always helps for me too when not in the spirit :-). Your house and the cookies look wonderful!!

    Have a lovely new week!

    Madelief x

  13. Hi Sylvia, What a beautiful post, and lovely photo's of teenage son, dog and squirrel all enjoying the moment. I hope the Spirit of Christmas remains with you throughout the rest of the holiday season.

  14. Oh I so love coming here...the beauty of your photos and the feeling I leave with are a gift! What a wonderful outing and photos...the squirrel, your son & your canine~ love his intense expression! And of course feeding the birds ♥

    I'm watching Charlie Brown at this moment :)

  15. Hi S ~ Just popping back
    over to THANK YOU for
    joining me at Monday Moments!
    I am enjoying my glass of
    wine and a quiet moment
    with my friends around the
    water cooler.....Love to visit
    Toronto again someday! I
    was there once about seven
    years ago when my hubby
    had a business trip and I
    really liked it!

    xx Suzanne

  16. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sylvia !
    Lovely photos and words ...
    What a nice idea to give those pretzels to the birds and what a cute dog is that !!
    Glad you had such a wonderful time together,

  17. Sylvia, I am so grateful that you left a comment on my post earlier so that I was able to find your blog. Honestly, I am blown away...I've read all the way to the beginning and loved every minute of it! Your photos are amazingly beautiful...I think we're kindred spirits on a lot of things. :) I so look forward to reading more and following along!


  18. I just love all your photos and those cookies look so delicious! This is such a wonderful story about finding your Christmas spirit. I'm so glad you did! Thanks for sharing it with us.

  19. Oh I love the idea of the baked goods on the trees outside for our bird friends.

  20. Joy joy joy to your pretty photos...I am so glad you found your Christmas joy.
    Love the special bird tree!!! ADORABLE!!!

  21. oh, i am so happy you found the inspiration you needed to egt into the christmas spirit..sometimes it just takes one little thing and then it is like an avalanche of ideas, plans, making and baking. i ove all of your photos, thanks for sharing!!

  22. Sylvia, your words always seem to touch my heart. I have been feeling like such a grinch and it has been an effort to get into the spirit of Christmas. Sometimes I think we ask too much of ourselves this time of year - trying to decorate and shop and bake and make it all lovely and happy and joyful.....I love your beautiful idea to just be together as a family....a walk outdoors bearing gifts for the little creatures of the earth! So lovely. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your inspiring photos and I hope you and your family have a merry, merry Christmas season.

  23. Merveilleux billet sur l'esprit de Noël ...

  24. Dearest Sylvia,

    I stayed home today from my hectic job for which I am humbly thankful. But worries, stresses, schedules, expectations that are almost impossible to achieve have left me tired. BUT today, I have had the gift of silence accorded to me, to listen, to be, and to actually READ your post. It was wonderful, and it only confirms to me that WE ALL struggle in getting into whatever spirit we need to be in, whether it is Christmas or a party, WORK or a daily task; it is US that makes the joy and the music and let me just say, that your photos are absolutely a MASTERPIECE in themselves, worthy of great admiration and a sense of accomplishment. We make our own joy...thank YOU for reminding me of that and for COMING TO VISIT!!!! HUGS TO YOU Anita

  25. Just what a needed to read this evening! Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Sylvia!!

  26. WOW, your photos are amazing, I'm so drawn in by the luster of the metallics. Just divine. I think we all have those times when Christmas gets away from us. If we don't sit down and reflect and make time, the commercialism of it all will truly rob it from you. Great post, andrea@townandprairie

  27. I am visiting from lovely Suzanne at Privet and Holly...and I'm so happy to be here. Your post is beautiful and so very true. You have inspired me and lit a spark in my heart. Thank you.
    I am a new follower.

  28. An honest, heartfelt, beautiful post with photos to match the lovely words. Thank you for sharing.
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  29. interesting indeed
    because i struggled with these self-same emotions
    as well this year

    how can i get some Christmas spirit back?

    and it wasn't until
    i started doing things to help make
    Christmas for others
    that the joy came seeping into my heart

    thanks for the reminder to go and do
    to serve
    to be with the ones we love

    what a delightful post
    for you to link to Fridays Unfolded.


  30. Sylvia, Dear Friend!!

    First of all, I must say I am sorry I missed this latest masterpiece post! I've had teeny snippets of time for the computer, here and there, so I am very behind ...
    Visiting my blog friends is such a source of peace and joy for me, I miss everyone!!

    Back to your post...oh, this brought tears to my eyes. I am feeling so much of what you write, and as I read dear Anita's words, I am nodding my head in agreement. It is always inside of us, isn't it? And giving is the first step..yes it is! Your tree for our furry friends..what pure joy!
    And O'Henry? Just wonderful.
    Your photos are stunning, as always. Coupled with your wise and timeless words, your work can be a treasured book:))

    I would like to thank you so much for stopping by and saying hello. You are so special, and I am blessed to have such a kind and dear blog friend.
    Yes, I have been a bit MIA around here. This has been a hectic time, but I hope to catch up this weekend, and hopefully post a little something.

    Enjoy this beautiful, spiritual time, dear friend..
    And thank you for the inspiration and love!
    - Irina

  31. Found you at Feathered Nest Friday. Your photography is beautiful. I'm now a follower.

  32. Your blog is so beautiful. I'm a new follower.

  33. A beautiful post. I think we all need to be reminded of what Christmas is all about. I think we need to remember to slow down and think of the things and the people that make it special.

    Your photos are just gorgeous and just take me right in to where you are.


  34. Oh Sylvia, what a beautiful post, both in words and in photos. I really wish I could express myself the way you do. I'm glad you found your Christmas spirit.

    hugs ♥

  35. Sylvia,
    Your posts are always thought provoking and gorgeous to look at! Love the quote at the top and love the message. Very nice. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!


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