The Christmas spirit comes from the heart

By Judy Brandon: Local Columnist

What about the Christmas spirit? Can one “catch” it? I can remember a particular Christmas when I was just a little girl living in Kansas City. I recall it for two reasons: Susie was very sick that Christmas and I asked for a Pink Lee Secret Message Writing Kit.

I was a dedicated Pinky Lee fan. He was second only to the Roy Rogers Show. Pinky always had a room full of kids and he wore a plaid suit with matching hat. He danced and jumped around the television set. Compared to today’s shows, Pinky might be considered dull. But as a seven-year-old child, I thought Pinky was marvelous. I took in all thirty minutes, mesmerized by all his antics.

The one portion that intrigued me most about the show was the mystery message. The catch was this: only those kids with a special kit, available in mail order from Pinky’s show, could find out the secret message. With the kit, one could put special paper over the TV screen and get the message Pinky was sending for that day.

Oh, how I wanted the Secret Message Writing Kit! So that Christmas, I asked for one. When Christmas morning came, there unwrapped under the tree was the Secret Message Writing Kit! I spent the entire day examining every crayon and piece of paper.

Never would I be left in the dark again, because I had the Secret Message Writing Kit.

That Christmas I was on heightened alert waiting for Christmas day. The Christmas spirit and the season consumed me. I was happy because I knew that when Christmas morning came, I would be happy with all my wishes fulfilled.

But that was when I was a kid. Now it’s different. Even though Christmas is a time of expectations, some years I haven’t had much Christmas spirit. Further, I have come to realize that a person can’t catch the Christmas spirit.

For a long time I thought that decorating the house, listening to Christmas music and wrapping gifts would make the Christmas feeling just come, like when I was a child. I believed making cookies, pound cake and dipping pretzels in white chocolate would bring that Yuletide feeling and the same anticipation I felt when I was young. I thought buying and spending time worrying about what to buy family and special friends was just part of it all. With all these activities added together, I thought I would catch the Christmas spirit.
As an adult, I have finally come to realize that the Christmas spirit is a thing of the heart. It is also a decision. I realize now how much better it is to just focus on the true meaning of
Christmas as a time for inviting Jesus to be more of my life.

I have to admit that I got tired of the Mystery Drawing Kit. I threw it out about February when the crayons broke and I ran out of the special writing paper. Since that time, I have come to know that the real satisfaction at Christmas and all year long for that matter comes from a willingness to let God be sovereign in my life. When I realized that, the mystery of trying to figure out how to get the Christmas spirit was over, and for to solve that mystery I didn’t need any kind of kit.

Judy Brandon is an instructor at Clovis Community College. Contact her at: