While for so many people this holiday season is about rampant commercialism, keeping up with the Joneses and rushing to keep up with a hectic schedule, we should all jump off the speed train and take time to not only appreciate the true meaning of Christmas but also to embrace the true spirit of Christmas.
Emotionally this is a difficult time of year for so many. Depression and anger drive up the rates of suicide and domestic violence. Stress builds upon stress to destroy the holiday cheer of many.
The underlying problem for so many people is that they focus all their energy on what they do not have rather than embracing what they do have — that is what Christmas spirit is all about.
Whether or not you are an ardent Christian, if you live in the Western World then you know that the true meaning of Christmas is to celebrate the birth of Christ. The Christ child is a symbol of love, light, hope and peace that makes this such a joyful season for true believers. However, even among the believers, there are some for which this message is not enough to overcome the depression, anger and stress of the season.
That is why it is so important to embrace the true meaning of Christmas. You need to reach down within yourself to find the spirit of Christmas. In order to embrace the true Christmas spirit you must be willing to give. Give of yourself, your time and your love, and give of your worldly possessions. Do not think of the gifts you give to others as an obligation or duty, but think of it as a symbol of your love for them. While no gift can accurately reflect the love we feel for those who are near and dear to us, we can show them that they matter by spending time and thought to create or select a gift with meaning.
My son likes to make his gifts and spends a long time designing and then creating these items. Granted, we could have bought a sweatshirt with “world’s best grandpa” printed on by a factory, but I expect that his grandfathers will cherish the shirts he designed himself and then created with fabric paint — misspellings, oddly-formed pictures and all. If you are struggling with your Christmas spirit then perhaps you should avoid the mall entirely this season and find a different way to give?
Embracing the spirit of Christmas also means giving to those beyond our immediate sphere as well, especially those most in need. Obviously it is easy to throw some money in a Salvation Army collection, and that is certainly worth doing, but if your Christmas spirit needs a boost then perhaps you should try something more hands-on.
Local churches, schools, and charitable organizations can usually give you a list of opportunities to give and help. For example, through my church we have taken up a shoebox collection (creating an assortment of holiday gifts that will fit into a plastic shoebox and then are shipped to need children overseas) and bought coats and clothing for needy children in our community. I helped wrap the coats and clothing as well as contributed to both campaigns and it did wonders for making me appreciate what I possess.
Embrace the spirit of Christmas and find the true meaning of the season to bring more joy and happiness into your life.