Wednesday, December 20, 2006


I was shopping for Christmas gifts the other day at our local mall.

I watched the people's faces as they hurried past me as I walked past the many stores that were decorated for Christmas.

I was feeling blue and needed to see a smile directed toward me. I needed a smile to help me through the sad feelings.

I did not see a single smile because everyone, including me, was absorbed in our own lives, our own  rush to buy gifts and our own sadness of the season.

I made my way to the food court, found a table and sat to watch people as they hurried past my table.

There was no laughter that I could hear. The mall music was softly playing Christmas carols in the background.

Everything was decorated and ready for Christmas except...

The people in the mall and......


I was searching for my Christmas spirit and my shopping trip to the mall made it very clear to me the the spirit that I was searching for that day was not to be found in...

The mall, the music that was playing or the decorations of the season.

The spirit that I am searching for this year cannot be bought, wrapped and given to me.

My Christmas spirit must be earned and given away to come back to me. I can't change what is going on, on the outside...but I can find what I am looking for on the inside.

My spirit this season can only be found inside of me.

I went back to the mall to try an experiment.

I didn't look at the faces of the people who passed me hoping that they would give me the smile that I needed from them.

Instead, I gave my smile to their faces.

I bought a gift in a store and as I turned to leave the store, I said Happy Holidays to the sales person and she smiled back at me.

I helped a lady pick up her coat from the floor and she smiled and thanked me. I said, Happy Holidays and she said, thank you and smiled back at me.

What I learned in a few hours in the mall was.....

You cannot wait for other people to give you the spirit of the season.

You have to give of yourself and when you do, the smiles will come from the faces of strangers and warm your heart. Giving of yourself brings the spirit of the season back home where it belongs.

If you are searching for the spirit of the season this year...You will find it when you give your spirit away.

It's amazing how the smiles come back home when you open the door of your heart and welcome others inside.

 Peggy, I miss you this Christmas season.

I miss your smile this year but I did see your smile in so many faces at the mall when I took the time to give my smile away.

I learned that I could not find the joy of this season until I was willing to give my Christmas Spirit away and expect nothing in return

Mary Louise       A work in progress

Always remember to forget the things that made you sad.

But never forget to remember the things that made you glad.

( Elbert Hubbard )


joan3424 said...

Mary Louise,

That was just beautiful.

I wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday.
Enjoy Christmas for Peggy, okay?

Joan (your neighbor in Beavercreek)

pharmolo said...

It is better to give than to receive

magogos said...

Thank you, Mary Louise. Your point is well taken, and Christmas does come from within to be shone outinto the world. Margo

wendy4145 said...

I learned that I could not find the joy of this season until I was willing to give my Christmas Spirit away and expect nothing in return

These words of yours are so educational!  I'd like to read these words every day... our days would surely be different if we did.  And I will keep them in mind during this holiday season and always.

Thank you MaryLouise,