How was your December? Did you postpone holiday celebrations or scale them down to keep you and your loved ones safer from coronavirus? I know I did. The pandemic and the political turmoil cast a murky, grey shadow over the month for many of us. The Zoom caroling my carolers and I did offered us and our audiences hours of stolen joy, but the shadow was real the rest of the season. I haven’t felt that cold lump of coal in my gut during a holiday season since the one which prompted me to proactively get my cherished Christmas spirit back! That December was about ten years back. There were plenty of unmasked gatherings to attend, live holiday shows to watch in crowded theaters, travel to and hugs with loved ones and so many caroling events that we nearly lost our voices! But that year, for reasons unknown to me at the time, I could not summon my spirit. I had to fake my cheer for others. It was painful. I have always considered the effervescent spirit of peace, hope and connection the Christmas season evokes in me to be one of the greatest joys in my life. For all of my years, that spirit had recharged my spiritual battery, allowing me to begin the new year with renewed hope and faith in humankind. I couldn’t conceive of living my life without that spirit.
So about the third week of the following January, as I took down my tree, I set a goal for myself. I would study a carol a week for a year; looking at them in ways I never had before. I prayed for God to show me what I needed to see WHEN I needed to see it. I blindly opened my carol book to God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen and began my journey. Friends, I’m telling you the truth: that very day, three weeks into January, I got my spirit back! What I learned, just poking around into the history of the carol and what the words mean opened my mind to an amazing question: What would it be like if – instead of trying for merely a “Happy Christmas” – we tried for a “Mighty Christmas?”
Week after week, I made fascinating discoveries about the carols I’d been singing my whole life. Some were downright miraculous! I have continued this process all of these years. I now call it my Spirit Saver Process. I don’t always do it every week, but I know it’s it’s there for me when I need it. I know you might be struggling just as I am at this strange time of uncertainty, so I invite you to join me as I redouble my efforts. Please feel free to contact me with questions, and I will begin posting more of these discoveries. You can also read about the process in my book, “Defeating Scrooge – How to Harness the Power of Christmas Carols to Revive Your Spirit Any Time of Year,” but you may take this journey back to your spirit with me for free via this blog. (If you do want the book, you can order it through your local book store or on Amazon. There is also an audio version, narrated and sung by Your’s Truly.)