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Enjoy real spirit of Christmas

Like anything else in life, there is always a good and bad side of everything. Whether it is a job, sports or just a decision that may affect a person’s family, looking at both sides can provide some important perspective. This certainly includes the Christmas Holiday.

Many years ago, I can remember my anticipation for the Christmas holiday ramping up when we got out of school for Christmas break.

More than anything else, I was thinking to myself about if I was good or bad that year and what Santa might leave under the tree Christmas morning.

While we live in a technologically filled time and travel in vehicles that included high-tech gadgets, one of the cool things about Santa is that he stills travels around the world in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. However, while this may be as anti-technology as it gets, kids can keep tabs on Santa. This is through the North American Aerospace Defense command, better known as NORAD. It provides those young and old the ability to track Santa on his travels around the world on Christmas Eve.

Incidentally, this started decades ago when an incorrect telephone number was published in a newspaper advertisement. When the calls started coming in, instead of reaching Santa Claus, children were speaking with a commander with the Continental Air Defense Command Operations Center (CONAD). Every year since, the practice has been ongoing. You can visit the site at http://www.noradsanta.org/ to not only track Santa, but play games as well.

While it is certainly fun to watch a child’s anticipation about what Santa may bring, it can be said for adults as well. The season brings many gatherings for families, friends and co-workers, and the anticipation can be the same for adults when gifts are traded. I find this especially true when having passing parties and the table is piled with gifts. It is kind of hard to deny that almost every person is eyeballing one gift in particular and hopes someone else doesn’t pick it up first.

With the good, the bad will typically rear its ugly head. In a time when the Christmas holiday is more commercialized than ever, people are rushing around to find the best deal or simply beat others to a certain gift. When this happens, the joy and spirit of the season will always be diminished by the onset of frustrations that simply turns people into Ebenezer Scrooge. This is because of long lines, increased traffic or a location simply not having a particular gift you are looking for.

So how do we as a society work to make the season enjoyable again? It’s quite a simple approach that I use. For me, I used to allow those frustrations get me to a boiling point. But as time has passed, I came to the realization that there is nothing I can do to control the long lines, traffic and the store being out of stock. What I can control is to understand that those patrons standing ahead and behind me in line or waiting for that parking spot are in the same boat. Could the retailer open up one more lane? Sure, but it could be because someone needed the day off to care for a sick child or loved one. We just don’t know the reason, and I choose to focus on the experience and just relax.

While there is good and bad in every situation, including the Christmas shopping season, taking a step back and focusing on the joy that a gift may provide to whoever you are buying it for will allow us all to have a joyous season.


Josh Morrison is the general manager at The Tribune. To reach him, call 740-532-1441 ext. 16 or by email at josh.morrison@irontontribune.com.