Reflections by the Sea: The Christmas Spirit

Published 7:54 am Monday, December 19, 2022

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By Betsy Ore Glass

Excerpt from newest book release “Christmas Traditions” 

Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. – Proverbs 3:3 NIV

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There will be many tree lightings across the area this weekend. Communities come together to decorate tress, have parades and sing carols. And in our own homes, decorations and trees are being put up too. White lights, colored lights, red bows, garland and shiny ornaments. Jingle bells ring and Christmas music plays as we go in and out of stores this time of year. School pageants, church music programs and gatherings with friends fill the time and add to the cheer of the season. It seems that the Christmas Spirit is alive.

But then I have heard several people say they weren’t going to bother with putting up a Christmas tree. Admitting the same thing myself, I was wondering what was holding me back this year. Sometimes dragging out all the boxes of decorations and ornaments seems like too much work just for the two of us. Then I reasoned that the new puppy will no doubt be fascinated with the tree and give up chewing my shoes and go straight for the tree instead. It appears that even my older dog needs a little Christmas spirit because he hid behind the chair when I brought out his red holiday sweater! Then there are all those ornaments that the kids made over the years. Hoping to package them up and send to them for their trees, they want me to keep them instead. And then I am feeling guilty for wanting to retire that old artificial tree my husband bought too many years ago in favor of a fresh one with wide limbs for our “vintage” decorations. (Everything is so old now; I do believe it qualifies for the term “vintage!”) So I think what it boils down to is that I don’t want to look back anymore. So I am looking forward to the future instead, knowing that my best days are still ahead of me and not behind me.

The Christmas Spirit is slowly beginning to take me over and hopefully soon I will be in full swing. There is a quote that says, “Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.” I guess I never thought of it that way before but it rings true.

The same tried and true Christmas movies that are on TV that I have loved every year are playing again this season too. The iPod is ready to go with all the Christmas music that we enjoy from Handel’s Messiah to Mannheim Steamroller and a bit of Andy Williams crooning for good measure. Am hoping to stay busy enough these next weeks to keep the emotions at bay that come with changes in our family this year. I know I am not by myself. Many people are struggling with losses and difficulties of all kinds. Times change and it is evident especially at Christmastime.

I am struck that the Christmas spirit doesn’t just happen. It won’t converge upon us like a morning fog. Either we have it or we don’t. The Christmas spirit is the result of the pure good heart that lives within. Christmas is love and thanksgiving for God sending us His Only Son. It comes from a heart that loves no matter what, that forgive everyone and everything, that helps others move ahead, that lends a helping hand, and one that makes someone’s way a little easier. The more we do for others, the more we will be filled with the Christmas Spirit ourselves. It is said that, “It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”

Betsy Ore Glass has long-standing ties to the Outer Banks. From Virginia Beach, her family bought a vacation cottage in the 60s and her love of the area began. Later in the 90s, Betsy and her husband bought a weekend cottage and introduced the area to their children. Then Betsy’s parents retired to KDH where the family gathered often. Reach her at To learn more about her book, Reflections by the Sea, visit