Why can't holiday spirit last the whole year?

Don't you just love the beautiful, cheerful, inspirational cards that brighten this holiday season? Filled with loving wishes, prayers for health, happiness and peace, the cards also symbolize the importance of this season and emphasize our values and beliefs.

During this special time, we feel more caring, more civil, friendlier and kinder. We become more aware of and concerned with those who won't enjoy holiday happiness.

Our children participate in community projects, such as bringing toys to homeless shelters or helping serve meals at churches. They hear our voices communicate warmth as we greet each other with wishes for “Happy Holidays.”

Why can't we carry this spirit of love and peace throughout the year? Why do we practice such lovely rituals and behavior for such a brief time?

Even during the ancient Greek Olympics, wars stopped and no weapons or antagonism were permitted while the games—part of a religious festival honoring the god Zeus—took place. This Olympic truce lasted up to three months. When the Olympics were over, the wars continued. Why couldn't that peaceful few months be extended to the whole year?

While I was visiting the Eric G. Norfeldt School in West Hartford, Connecticut, I was deeply touched by the schoolwide welcome every child conveyed throughout the halls and classrooms. The warmth among the students as they passed each other, the kindness exhibited by everyone—all day, in every situation—was profoundly impressive.

During my visit, respect and consideration were demonstrated by adults and children of all grade levels and ages. The principal, Caryn Falvey, explained that this climate was a daily commitment, worked on and honored by the entire school family. This was the way it was always, she said.

Wouldn't it be nice if it were that way everywhere?

My wish and prayer for this holiday season is that we celebrate and continue practicing the caring words and actions that are so central to this special time of year as the months move on. May we and our children help our world become a more peaceful and loving planet. Happy Holidays!

“Mamaloshen” is the Yiddish term for “the mother tongue” and we have adapted it here to represent the wisdom of Columbus arts educator, author and all-around inspiration Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld, who is on a mission to help parents raise happy, healthy, creative children.