Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tazi's Corner #20 - Remembering The Spirit Of The Season

Dear Readers,

First we had Black Friday, then we had Small Business Saturday; tomorrow is Cyber Monday.  Does that mean that today is a day to sit back and reflect on the true meaning of the holiday season? I hope so, because those are the kind of thoughts I will be sharing with you today.

As I have mentioned so many times in the past, I have a wonderful home, full of people who serve - I mean love! - me and want me to be happy.  One of the people who makes me happy is the little girl who lives next door.  "Missy" is unlike any child I have ever met; she is "seven going on sixty" as my Mommie describes her, but that is okay with me.  I am generally not fond of young children; they chase me under the furniture and try to pull me out by the tail. (Yeah, there's a good way to endear the cat to you!  Torture it!).  Missy, however, is not like that.  Missy is like an adult in miniature.  Like many children of a certain age, Missy is starting to doubt the existence of Santa Claus and the magic of Smiley, her Elf of the Shelf.  It is for all the Missys out there that I say this:

To all of you raising the Missys of the world, to all of you struggling to conquer your own personal battles; to you I would like to say that I understand that it is hard to keep believing. I know how difficult it can be to keep trying when all you want to do is give in and hope somebody else can pick up the slack, if only for a moment.  I may be just a little kitty, but I witness the trials of my humans, and the anguish of those who write to me.  We live in a world where it is so easy to lose our faith. Disappointments in our personal and professional lives sap our desire to keep trying; trying moments sap our reserves to the point where we wonder where we will find the strength to go on another step.  I say, keep trying, in spite of the hurt; you never know which attempt will lead to success.  

Don't be afraid to take naps between tries!  Just remember to try again when you wake!

Discouragement is a natural, human emotion - everyone feels it, but remember this the next time you feel the need to verbalize yours: Children - even those that are not your own - can have mighty good hearing when it comes to things we would rather they not hear; once spoken, words cannot be unsaid. The next time you catch yourself losing your temper or drowning your spirit over something you cannot control, think of the lesson you are passing on to a child. Better yet, if you find yourself stressed to the point that you are losing your temper or drowning in misery, maybe it is time that you have a "time out".

Remember that you will quickly reach the point where you can do no good for others if you refuse to first be good to yourself.  Brew a cup of coffee or tea; take 15 minutes to yourself with a newspaper or a good book; make time for yourself! While you are indulging in your "time out", ask yourself: Are the gifts you "need" to buy really so necessary that you must toss civility to the side to get them?  I'll bet you a Cabbage Patch Kid, a Furby, and a Tickle Me Elmo that they are not.  Do you really want to give your child a gift that required you to stampede over others to get it?

Zombie apocalypse or Wal-Mart on Black Friday?
In the consumer culture that has developed over the past several decades, is it any wonder children no longer believe in the magical?  Or do they?  As I overheard Missy explain to my Mommie that she didn't think her Elf was real, that her Mom moved him around after she went to sleep, I saw a glint of doubt in her eyes at the sound of her own words; a small fear that maybe - just maybe - she was wrong. Something tells me that there is a seven-year-old underneath that serious demeanor after all...a seven year old who wants to continue to believe, in spite of a gut feeling to the contrary.   Hope springs eternal in the hearts of youth, but just as with adults those hopes need to be nurtured.  Is there any way that we can make the magic last just a little while longer?

Please ignore the bad hair and take a minute to listen to the message!

Santa Claus, The Elf, and other characters of Christmas (does Hanukkah have any?) are only symbols of a greater good that dwells within our hearts, a good that often gets shoved aside in favor of other responsibilities, real and imagined.  This year, don't let the stresses of creating a "perfect" holiday season shove aside the reasons that we celebrate the season - the miracles, big and small, that come about as a result of faith, hope, charity, love, and the indefatigable strength of the human spirit. At seven years old, Missy and most other children her age are still too young to understand the spirit of good will behind the concepts of Santa and the Elf on the Shelf; it is up to you humans to illustrate it for them.  Are you up to the task?


P.S.  It is exactly one month until Christmas; thirteen days until the start of Hanukkah, so don't wait too long to start displaying your holiday spirit!  --T.K.

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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