The finest minds in the history of literature, art and music have tried to capture the spirit of the winter holidays. Across the centuries, they’ve done a marvelous job. Whether you’re watching “A Christmas Carol” or playing the “Charlie Brown Christmas” soundtrack, nothing compares.
We defer to the greats who’ve said it all before, but we do have a few thoughts to share.
For all the knocks against “commercial Christmas,” year after year we look past price tags to see the expressions of joy as children and loved ones open presents. Mastercard would call it “priceless.”
The toughest of us gain access again — however briefly — to sparkling childhood memories that are like a time machine, transporting us back to simpler times.
“Did you hear something on the roof? It sounds like hooves and sleighbells.” We all love buying and giving gifts — but say those words to a five-year-old and wait for the look. Money doesn’t exist in that moment, nor things. It is something that can’t be purchased at any price, anywhere.
Beyond the trimmings and trappings of the winter holidays is something less tangible than any gift at any price: gratitude.
We have much to be grateful for — as a company, as a nation and as a planet. Passing through a time of fear and uncertainty the likes of which few now living have ever known, we’ve pulled together despite our differences, and adapted to our shared troubles — and we’re better for it.
We’re grateful for the medical professionals and essential workers, whether they’re staffing intensive care units or local grocery stores. We’re grateful to the scientists working to keep us safe, and the companies toiling to bring their discoveries into the fight against disease and despair.
Most of all, we’re grateful for another trip around the sun. With its many trials and tribulations, life in the 21st century is precious, and we’re blessed to be living at such an astounding time.
Whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali (which happens to fall in November) or Christmas — or if you don’t recognize any of the “official” winter holidays — there’s no denying that something happens to us all. Perhaps we give ourselves permission to love a little more.
While we’re reminded of Ebenezer Scrooge’s rough Christmas Eve and subsequent vow to “honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year,” we also remember The Grinch.
He was as cuddly as a cactus, as charming as an eel, someone you wouldn’t touch with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. But the Christmas spirit reached him on the very peak of Mount Crumpit.
“And what happened then? Well, in Whoville, they say the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day. And then the true meaning of Christmas came through, and the Grinch found the strength of 10 Grinches — plus two.”
From all of us at PYMNTS to all of you for whom we’re grateful, have a safe a happy holiday.