The Holiday Season is a special time to think, to share, to remember. It’s a family and friends time. It’s a time to talk to each other, face to face, instead of texting and tweeting, and not being with another warm, live body. Holidays are one of the few times where people still sit around and talk to each other, one on one. And reach out and touch someone. And share their thoughts. Instantly, in human time.

Instead of in electronic time, with those repetitive 3 or 5 second pauses, while a little electronic gadget spins its electrons. The cell phones and other electronic gadgets are the new faces at our tables. We have to get used to and adjust to these heart-less and soul-less little creatures as a part of our lives now. But we still need a human touch. And to communicate in human time.

If you are brooding that you didn’t have time to get all the presents ready, never mind. You can always give GOODFERS. These get put in an envelope with a card inside, and then hung with a nice ribbon on the tree or on one’s stocking. Goodfers have the person’s name on the outside, and on the inside they say, “This is good for a new bike.” or “a book”, or “a shopping trip”, or “an ice cream sundae”, or something special like “for your college fund”.

If you are sad, take a walk in the woods on a sunny day, with family, friends, even the dog, to cheer your soul in these dark, dank, winter days. Short days are thought to cause winter depression. The sun’s wavelengths are supposed to be restorative. There are even special lamps you can sit in front of, to get the right wavelengths.

Again this year, I am cheered by the many decorations on Gina’s little Christmas tree in the woods, which still sparkles and shimmers in the sun. When she was 5 years old, her father wanted to have a special holiday tree with her. The chosen tree was just as tall as she was. And each year, they have returned to add more decorations and usually a big red bow, or a star on top.

Now that pine tree is almost 15 feet tall, and Gina is a lovely teenager. But all of those shining holiday balls are still on the tree. They sparkle and cheer the woods, actually all through the year, when the western sun is at just the right angle.

Whenever one Christmas ball falls down, a passerby on the trail picks it up and re-hangs it. And so for years, everyone has spontaneously shared the care and joy of a little girl’s Christmas tree. It’s a good lesson that the world could learn from, instead of the evil, threats and worries in the news today.

Credit: Ruth S. Foster