Regardless of what you celebrate, perhaps Charlies Dickens best summed up the spirit of the Holidays in A Christmas Carol -“…The only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.” Let’s take a few moments and reflect on the warm fuzzies of the season with 25 True Holiday Stories And Their Origins That Will Warm Your Heart.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas – one of the most beloved Christmas Holiday specials in the US – almost never aired. When executives at CBS previewed the special, they hated it, claiming there wasn’t enough action, the voices were real children not adult actors, there was no laugh track, and it dared to quote a passage of the bible on national television! Fortunately for us, CBS was beholden to it’s advertisers, and so the special aired on December 9, 1965, and to the complete shock of CBS, over 15 million people tuned in. No matter who you are or what your faith, the story of a sad little tree that just needs a little love is something that speaks to all of us.
Laney Brown's Last Wish
In December 2013, 8 year old Laney Brown was dying of Leukemia. She loved music and Taylor Swift, and her dying wish was to meet Taylor and have some carolers come by her house so she could hear them sing. Swift did spent some time with Laney via facetime, and once people heard she wanted carolers outside of her house, over 10,000 people showed up to home in West Reading PA, to grant her last Christmas wish. Though she was too sick to come outside, she sent everyone a message through her parents – “I can hear you now!!! Love you!”
Hanukkah in the Camps
Bergen-Belsen was a Nazi concentration camp filled with horrors. However, that didn’t stop Faithful Jewish inmates from Celebrating Hanukkah in 1943. Fat was saved from their meager meals, and women pulled threads from their clothing to make candles, a menorah was fashioned out a potato, and dreidels were even made for some of the children, carved from the wooden shoes the inmates wore. Risking their lives, inmates made their way to Rabbi Israel Shapiro (Bluzhever Rebbe), conducted the Hanukkah ceremony, literally and figuratively finding a light in the darkness.
Sandy Police Department
On Christmas Eve, 2014 in Sandy, Utah, nefarious persons broke into the apartment of a single mother and her two young children, stealing all the presents. When the Sandy Police Department saw the looks on the children’s faces, they decided they would bring Christmas. According to Officer Travis Bradley of Sandy PD, “Everybody pooled their money and got them taken care of,” and a few hours later, Santa showed up on their doorstep with a bag full of presents.
If you’ve ever wondered why we feast so around the Holidays, thank the Romans. Saturnalia was a festival of the Roman god Saturn, and it lasted from December 17th to December 23rd. Everyone ate like kings, from, well, kings, to the lowest in society. It was a crazy happy party where tables were often turned and masters served slaves. Feeding the poor and serving the less fortunate isn’t an idea limited to any one spiritual philosophy at this time of year.