It’s been years since I really felt I had the Christmas Spirit. Because of one thing and another, I’ve spent several Christmases alone. The first year is the hardest especially when you grew up in an atmosphere where Christmas was truly a wonderful, magical time.

Over the years, as we grow up, our ability to believe becomes jaded by life itself and we lose our sense of wonder all-together. For kids, a sense of wonder is a big part of who they are. After all, kids are just raw emotion on two legs. One of those fantastic emotions is the feeling of wonder; about the world around them and all the thoughts exploding in their brains at one time. Everything is brand new to them and the year from Christmas to Christmas is interminably long.

If you’re a listener or reader, you may know that I have two Granddaughters by the names of Layla and Shiloh. Great names aren’t they? My daughter has always been good at naming things. When she was pretty young, she named one of our cats Munch ( That’s not “munch” as in “munch up these carrots”, it’s the name of an artist who did a painting called “The Scream” and, since this cat screamed so much, she named him Munch. I was proud that she knew something about art even at that early age.

At any rate, I do have the Christmas Spirit this year and it’s because of several things like a new outlook on life, faith and two little girls who have just stolen my heart. No doubt you’ve had people say to you something to the effect of, “I love my kids, but my grandkids, well, that’s just something special.” Well, it’s so true. Those girls are a very big part of my renewed feelings this year.

I had my daughter and her family over for Thanksgiving dinner and, despite the fact that he’s a chef, my son-in-law, Matt, didn’t cook any of it. It’s not that he wouldn’t, it’s that my daughter, Annie, and I wanted that great experience of making Thanksgiving dinner together. I cherished every moment of it.

My granddaughters were so excited that they were going to see the Macy’s parade ( they moved here from New York, but never got a chance to see the parade live), but they barely watched it, preferring instead to pop in and out of the kitchen asking if it was time to eat or play chase with my dog, Hank. It’s short for “handkerchief” because my daughter said so and, as you know, she’s good at naming things.

There was something about the glorious sound of those two rascals having fun just made my day. Ever since then, I’ve been ready for Christmas to get here. I’m excited by Christmas again. I can hardly wait until Christmas Eve so I can, once again, catch Santa Fever. You know the symptoms: extreme joy and wonder, a total inability to sleep and keeping an ear out for the sound of sleigh bells.

This year, everyone is coming over for Christmas Eve and I’ll have my Christmas with my daughter and her family. I can’t wait to see those two kids with their Christmas eyes and nervous energy. Sure they’re going to be noisy and out of control (another symptom of Santa fever) and things might get broken, but I’ll be more than paid back by the sound of their laughter.

If you have trouble getting into Christmas, just volunteer to help out with any children’s charity you like.

You learn something very important that these kids know by instinct, but, once we’re adults we seem to forget it. You’ll reconnect with the spirit of the holiday when you reconnect with your sense of wonder.

May your Christmas season be filled with wonder.