Friday, June 8, 2012

June 8: Happy End, Precepts, Christmas Carols

Much they saw, and far they went, and many homes they visited, but always with a happy end.  The Spirit stood beside sick-beds, and they were cheerful; on foreign lands, and they were close at home; by struggling men, and they were patient in their greater hope; by poverty, and it was rich.  In almshouse, hospital, and jail, in misery's every refuge, where vain man in his little brief authority had not made fast the door, and barred the Spirit out, he left his blessing, and taught Scrooge his precepts.

Scrooge learns much from the Ghost of Christmas Present.  Most of all, however, he learns about the power of love and charity to make even the most desperate situation calm and peaceful.  That's the biggest precept Scrooge learns from this phantom.  Scrooge's own happy end will come when he embraces everything that a Charles Dickens' Christmas embodies:  cheer, home, patience, hope, and wealth of spirit.

This morning, as I was doing my weekly cleaning duties in the office where I work (vacuuming, dusting, emptying garbage cans, basically being Cinderella), I used my iPod to keep myself entertained.  I scrolled through the music, and I settled on a collection of Christmas carols.  Don't ask why.  Usually, I listen to '80s rock, maybe Doris Day or Roger Miller if I'm in the mood.  Today, it was Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops playing holiday standards.

And I have to say, the music just calmed me right down.  It filled my mind with good recollections of Christmases with snow and family and egg nog.  (I looooove egg nog.)  I found myself filled with a sense of peace I haven't felt in a long time.  Even though my whole day of working and shopping and cleaning and chauffeuring stretched out before me, I didn't care.  I simply felt grateful for the music and memories.

I think that's what the Spirit of Christmas Present shows Scrooge.  The power to make even tiresome tasks, like dusting or vacuuming, light and fun.  I was actually humming and singing this morning, which I never do at work.  And I was humming and singing Christmas carols!  If anybody had come into the office and heard me, I probably would have been sent home for some sort of mental health day.  But I felt great.  Still do.

That is the precept I learned today, and I think that's what it means to keep Christmas in your heart all year long.  It doesn't mean leaving your Christmas tree up and decorated until July, although I have been known to do that.  No, it means sustaining the sense of happiness and peace from December 25 to December 25.  Three-hundred-and-sixty-five days of Christmas carol mojo.

Saint Marty's going to do his part today, thanks to Arthur Fiedler and company.

Thanks for the memories, Artie!

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