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The Holiday Spirit Renovation Guide

The Holiday Spirit Renovation Project

The Christmas Spirit. The ideal of family coming together, cold days with warm decorations, happy chatter, and love. Some would say we have rehabilitated this spirit through a commercial bombardment that now seems to begin earlier and earlier every year. Think I saw my first Christmas tree somewhere before Halloween.

The idealism around the Holidays is one that has the ability to bring community and friends together but is often lost in the shuffle of Christmas chaos. We have established a precedence that these special days are often about having, whether we are giving or accepting gifts, and sometimes forgetting the most important ingredient: Being. The idea of a spirit that opens up to what is really important in our lives: Family, Friends, and those who really need holiday cheer.

I bring this up because the Holidays can be a sad and lonesome time for many. The loss of a loved one or the change in life situations can and does happen to everyone at some point. Many have had traditions that are no longer achievable and are longing for the holiday spirit they have lost.

My holiday spirit has changed. I am guilty of wanting my own children and family to have elaborate Christmas mornings…and I remember the chaos I felt in my own selfishness of wanting to be Santa Claus. The ideal of Christmas was strong in my life and I missed what mattered: the time with my family where I taught principles of giving to others, extending a hug to those who need it, and making sure that those within my community felt the amazing gift of holiday cheer. I now see the spirit of human kindness is all that really matters.

We are all getting older. No getting out of that one. But it is never too late to change our life stories. There is no greater joy and meaning than making sure others are acknowledged and loved. No greater lesson than realizing that the greatest gift of the holidays is reaching out to those that need holiday cheer.

My wish this year is to make our community aware that it is the simple things in life that make it special. It is the kind gestures and actions we take toward others that give us the spirit to endure and make a difference. There is no greater time than now, in our current world, to extend a hand, support a purpose, and share the fortune we have. So, reach out to others, check in on a neighbor, call a long-lost friend, and open your heart to what true holiday spirit is. Put a smile on your face and remember that one person can change the spirit of another…and it might change your spirit as well.

If you are alone, sad, or just need some spirit…come see us at the Blaine Senior Center. Our focus is kindness. As a 501(c)(3), our mission is to support every person as they age and to be a community resource that makes life better. If life seems good…make it better. Join us and get to know our community. Maybe even gain some of the Holiday Spirit that will elevate your story in 2024.

Remember what Dr Suess said in How the Grinch Stole Christmas:  Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more! The Blaine Community has the ability to be a town that makes a difference. New Traditions are started with a first time. Make this the Holiday Season a steppingstone to establishing the precedence that kindness matters and thinking about others is the greatest gift of all.

Pete Nelson, Executive Director of the Blaine Senior Center and Community Complex


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