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What Happened to the Christmas Spirit?

It's the end of the year. Have some fun, be playful and find that childlike enthusiasm again for the magic of Christmas.
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I've been looking for a new car. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Anyway, as I've been looking at cars I've gone a few times to the Audi dealership. The other day when I was there talking to a salesman, Christmas music started playing in the background. I looked at him and said, "It really is Christmas."

Ever since I moved to California, I just never feel the Christmas spirit. I'm from New York City, and in New York City there is a ton of Christmas spirit. Everywhere you go there is a "Sidewalk Santa" next to a Salvation Army kettle, Christmas music, Christmas decorations and just an incredible feeling of Christmas in the air.

In Los Angeles, December never feels "Christmas-like." It is little bit chillier, but it really just feels like a different variation of October and November days. There are little pockets of the area that seem to realize it's Christmas, but for the most part if you didn't know the date you would never know it was Christmastime around here.

You just don't have that "Christmas is coming" feeling around here. Remember when you were a child, how intense the anticipation of Christmas was? It was such an amazing feeling.

I remember there would be a Christmas play at school every year that you'd watch, and then you'd eat the Christmas cookies that someone always brought in. You'd be in school, and you'd start to count down the number of days until Christmas vacation.

You'd know you were only days away from that ten day or two week winter vacation. Two weeks without school was like a year in kid time. Every day you could go out and play in the snow, watch cartoons, stay up late and drive your parents crazy.

I remember the anticipation of the gifts. I remember my parents going Christmas shopping. They wouldn't actually tell us they were going Christmas, of course, but we knew.

The next day after school when my Mom was out and my Dad was still at work, my brother and sister and I would go on a Christmas present hunt. I would find where they hid all the presents to make sure that I was getting everything on my list.

I was amazing at finding the hiding place. It would usually take me 48 hours to find the hiding place, but I would always find it.

I would always find things that I didn't want in the gifts. So of course, being the excellent communicator that I am (even back then), I would always say to my Mom the next day, "Hey Mom. I hope you didn't get me (and I would list those things)." I would tell her all the reasons why those would be the wrong gifts for me.

Then, sure enough, none of those things would be under the tree on Christmas morning. Yes, my parents would actually go out and return those things I said I didn't want.

The anticipation of Christmas was amazing. It was such a special time.

It was beautiful. Everything about it was beautiful.

As an adult, though, do you still have that feeling of anticipation around Christmas? Does it really make a difference?

We decorated our tree the other night. We got a "living tree" for the very first time (which means that you give it back to them after Christmas and they re-plant it). That way you don't kill trees. I think it's really a fantastic thing to do.

It was fun to decorate it. I hadn't decorated a tree in a long time.

It just still didn't feel like Christmas, though, at all. I don't know if I've lost my Christmas spirit, or if age in general just makes you lose your Christmas spirit.

How do all of you feel about this? Do you have that same intense Christmas spirit as an adult that you had as a kid?

Do you still have that amazing feeling of anticipation? Are you still looking forward to putting on your pajamas with the feet and hoping that Santa will bring you something fantastic, or are you just an adult who has lost that childlike enthusiasm and excitement for this magical time of the year?

Maybe it's time we all started believing in Santa a little bit more. Maybe we need to start dressing up as Santa for our significant others. Maybe we stop being so politically correct and start wishing each other a Merry Christmas. Maybe we should stop all the "Happy Holidays" and get back to the beauty and the magic of what the Christmas season really is all about.

So today, go out there and wish people a Merry Christmas. Put a Santa cap on and have some fun with it.

It's the end of the year. Have some fun, be playful and find that childlike enthusiasm again for the magic of Christmas.

Maybe instead of going on a date where you stare at each other chewing food across a restaurant table, have a Christmas marathon. Watch "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" and "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town." Maybe you need to see Hermey the elf dentist take out Bumble the abominable snowman's tooth to really get into the Christmas spirit.

Have this fun little marathon or do something that brings back the magic of the Christmas season. As adults, we deserve to feel that way again.