A successful search finding the Christmas Spirit

Bob Parana - Staff Writer

It was a challenge finding the Christmas spirit this year. I'm sure everyone is struggling to do so. I craved it and was determined to find it, and I did!
There he was staring at me in the parlor at my Dad's house – the pet horse Santa gifted me with when I was four years old. No, he’s not real but he sure did seem so back in 1966. The metallic, majestic animal left me in shock and I admit there was a little fear thinking maybe it was just a dream. It wasn’t. He was so different than the rocking horse I spent hours on pretending I was a cowboy complete with hat and toy revolver shooting rolls of red sulfur caps I can still smell today. He glided on wheels when you made his legs move by pushing down on the metal bars my feet were perfectly able to reach. He was wonderful.
I don’t remember other gifts I got that day. I’m sure they were all nice but nothing topped the pressed-steel, toy ride-horse first produced in bulk in England in 1947 by David Sebel and his son Harry. They ceased manufacturing the Mobo Bronco in 1971. While he’s lost a bit of his luster, he’s still in fine condition. I get a thrill when seeing a tot peering at him for the first time. It’s magical when their faces light up when they take him for a ride.
Mobo triggers memories I was so longing for. That Christmas morning seems like yesterday. I remember my Mom holding my hand while leading me to the manger scene at Holy Cross Catholic Church in Rasselas to see the baby Jesus. Even though the Bethlehem replica had been up for weeks, the crib for the swaddling-wrapped infant remained empty until Christmas. Seeing him finally there was always heartwarming. I was given permission to take a little straw home for my horse. I swear he actually ate it.
With the Holiday Spirit, I can better enjoy memories of past Holidays and approach this year with an optimistic glow. I can let my mind wander and escape the day to day issues we’re all facing. The feeling is awesome.
I can't wait for the special, magical feeling that still overtakes me on Christmas Eve. It’s hard to describe the aura that runs through the body and mind. I wish I could bottle it and make it available throughout the year. Now more than ever we all need a little Christmas Spirit and I’m thrilled I found it.
While a happy time, the season can also, unfortunately, bring sadness when thinking about those no longer with us. The feeling can almost be debilitating. This will be the 33rd Christmas without Mom. No one enjoyed the season as much as her. While I may occasionally shed a tear a smile eventually takes over when thinking back on so many special moments especially when I smell her favorite bayberry candles burning. We’ve all lost family and friends and while the Holidays aren’t the same with them gone, I’m sure they would want us to find Christmas joy.
The spirit will guide you to wonderful things. A simple act of kindness even to someone you don’t know can make a difference in their day and yours. Doing something special may just be the positive boost somebody needs to continue their daily uphill battle. Simply finding goodness instead of the bad can be a life changer not only for others but for you.
I’m looking forward to creating memories this year. Hopefully, all of you can find something that makes you feel like a four-year-old again. Do yourself a favor and look for your Mobo Bronco. It might take extra effort but do your best and you won’t be disappointed.
Merry Christmas!