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Kansas City MO 64131






Cindy Maddera


Sunday night I forced Michael to watch my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually (I let him talk me into Red Dawn the night before). He has also been forced to listen to random outbursts of Christmas carols. Last night, while chopping up a sweet potato for black bean sweet potato chili, All I Want For Christmas came booming out of my mouth. Michael went and turned Pandora on the Roku. "Was it because I was singing Christmas songs?" "Yup." Michael's not all that into Christmas and as someone who dropped their religion years ago (don't get freaky and judgmental), I kind of see his point. But I can't help it. I love the songs, the lights, the bells ringing, the bows and that particular cheer that sort of permeates the air. Besides, anybody who knows anything about history knows that Christmas is both a religious and secular holiday. This is the time of year when people tend to behave the way I'd expect and want them to for the whole year. There are more stories on the news about good things. People give more. People smile more. People are more kind to one another. All of these things should happen throughout the whole year and probably do. It just seems more noticeable this time of year. I mean, I'd like people to act this way all the time, but for the month of December, I get my wish of goodwill towards everyone. Oh, I know it's not all Christmas miracles and joy. I know that bad shit still happens. I know that jerks still break in and steal all the Christmas presents. I know that there are still asshats who scam the charity bins. But for every stolen present or charity scammed, there's always someone that steps up to save the day.

It doesn't matter if you are religious or secular. The fundamental backbone of Christmas is love. That's probably why Love Actually is my favorite movie to watch at Christmas. It's about love, lost and found, broken and patched. It could have been placed at any other time of the year, but the soft sparkly lights and magic of the holiday are the things that put the zing in this story. Everything about the Christmas holiday resonates loves. Notice how Billy Mack has such a hard time converting the original verse of "love is all around us" to "Christmas is all around us". His excuse is because he's just used to the original. Maybe so. The original is a bit easier to say, but the remake works so well because "love" and "Christmas" are interchangeable. So bring on the bells and the carols. Bring on the lights. But most importantly bring on the good cheer and love.

Happy Love Thursday indeed!