Christmas is where you find it
November 23, 2004
By Kelli Du Fresne
Though it’s weeks after Thanksgiving as I pause to write my column, my over-stuffed belly is still making me stretch to reach the keyboard.
I was watching the Grinch the other day as he stuffed the Whos’ mailboxes with jury summonses, pink slips and worse and I was reminded just how many of my friends’ mail boxes have not received a Christmas card from my family in these past few years.
Much has changed in my life and much has kept me busy, but I can’t say I’ve been too busy to write out cards. So, I resolved to dig out the blank squares of guilty conscience and fill them out.
I don’t know if anyone will notice my cards in their mailbox amid the deluge of others, but I think I’ve found a way to make mine stand out.
I’m going to mail them from Santa’s house at the North Pole.
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North Pole, Alaska
I can get an official postal cancellation stamp if I bundle up my stamped, addressed cards in a Priority Mail envelope or box and send them to:
North Pole Christmas Cancellation
5400 Mail Trail
Fairbanks, AK 99709
But, and this is the catch, I have to send them by Wednesday.
So those of us who have once again decided to keep in better touch with our friends and loved ones can for the cost of a Priority Mail pouch add a little something extra to our Christmas greetings.
It may seem a bit odd, but it’s all and exercise in observation.
I don’t know who will notice. And I probably won’t ever know if they did. If I can make one friend wonder “how’d she do that?” it will be well worth it. But, like buying gifts for needy children, or donating food to the shelter, it’s not about who notices it’s about doing it in the first place. It’s the spirit of Christmas. The spirit of friends and family and of being a better person than you were they day before.
All garbed in red and black or draped with tinsel just now, the spirit truly exists in us all throughout the year. But we often fail to notice it, even when it’s right in our faces.
It is that spirit coupled with a big dose of patriotism that keeps us plugging away on the C Hill Flag.
It keeps food on the shelter shelves in the spring, summer, winter and fall.
It puts warm coats on children for cold days.
It makes two people take in a little lost Yorkie, care for it, love it and then agree to send it back to its owner.
It brings 200 volunteers to the Red Cross Shelter to work during the Waterfall fire, despite the fact that few victims sought shelter there.
It makes a Reno man donate $39,000 so a young woman can dance again.
It was exemplified again early last week when a pair of Yerington folks who own a tree lot in Carson City refused to let the Grinch steal their Christmas spirit after two trees were stolen. Instead of being angry or bitter they simply offered “If they took the trees because they were needy I’m sorry for that. …” and “I hope that it went to a family that really wanted it. That would make me happy.”
They then offered to give discounted or free trees to anyone who said they needed one. As of Thursday morning the lot was half empty – or was it half full?
Kelli Du Fresne is city editor for the Nevada Appeal. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 881-1261.