Capturing the Christmas Spirit

Capturing the Spirit of Christmas

Christmas, my child, is love in action.  Dale Evans

What do you think of when you think of Christmas?

Tis the season for Santa Claus, snow, Xmas trees, light decorations, gifts under the Xmas tree, Christmas stockings, Christmas movies, Christmas songs, gingerbread houses, fruitcake, candy canes, panettone, mistletoe, poinsettias, Christmas dinner with family and friends, roasting chestnuts, midnight mass and the much anticipated Boxing Day.

Yet many people overlook the spiritual meaning and experience of Christmas. We forget the “Christ” in Christmas and the need to create the intention of celebrating Christ’s presence is our everyday lives and to give thanks for his love and guidance, especially in today’s turbulent times and what has unfolding in the last couple of years.

I have often wondered why can’t it be Christmas everyday.  It’s not about the gifts, it’s about the spirit of Christmas. It’s about the loving, caring, sharing, giving and being joyful.  It’s about being appreciative for all we have and being able to share our blessings. 

In this day and age, Christmas has become too commercialized, almost like an extreme sport. It has become superficial and some people are just going through the motions, feeling obliged. It’s suppose to be the most wonderful time of the year. But for the most part, it can be a very stressful time of the year, overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of shopping for gifts and preparing meals. With all the busyness and pressure of the holiday season, we don’t get the time to reflection on the true essence of Christmas. The more we stray, the more we overlook the meaning of Christmas. 

Instead of spending more quality time with our family and friends, it has become about spending more money on gifts. It’s time to get back to the basics and focus on what’s important. It is the celebration of the birth of Christ, God’s love and his gift to us. When Christ was born he brought us light, hope and peace. He also taught us the meaning of love.

The grace of giving is powered by spirit and fills the heart. The true gift is the gift of love. With a generous heart, we give to ourselves and to others. By thinking of others and sharing with them, we create that sense of togetherness, of belonging and of community.  While these principles should be present in our daily lives, there is something special about this festive season that reminds us to not only become a better version of ourselves but to also make a difference in someone”s life and in the world.

As the winter days get shorter and darker, we need to shine that light and share the sparkle. Just like the star of Bethlehem guided the three wise men through the desert, we can become a beacon of hope for others as we share the higher light within us.

Christmas is the time for spiritual reflection and review on what’s important in our lives. As we take stock and reconnect with the spiritual source within, we can build that foundation of faith, as we become renewed and strengthened.

What happened to “peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.” If we can experience inner peace in our soul, we can extend that peace to our fellow humans. On the other hand, a necessary ingredient for inner peace is goodwill. There are still heroes amongst us and it is always heart warming to see those who extend a helping hand to people in need. 

Wishing peace and goodwill shouldn’t be a temporary solution we offer only at Christmas time. Compassion, kindness, charity, thoughtfulness, cooperation and benevolence all help us carry the grace of God’s love and form the foundation for nourishing the soul and keeping the spirit alive and well. Imagine all the people applying these principles on a full time basis, all year round. We just might make the world a better place. As John Lennon would have said, “Imagine all the people living in peace.”

Simple things can bring joy and love into everyone’s heart and home. When was the last time you experienced Christmas with childlike wonder? Remember the anticipation of the most magical time of the year?  

Rediscover the true spirit of Christmas by putting love into action. 

Spread the love with the gift that keeps on giving.

Offering your time, energy and presence can be the greatest gift of all.

  • Bake a pie or some cookies for your neighbour.
  • Make a hot chocolate or bring some hot coffee to those people working outside in the winter cold.
  • Give blood as it is the gift of life for many ailing people.
  • Shovel the snow off your neighbour’s driveway, stairs or scrap the snow off their car in the morning before they leave for work.
  • Practice forgiveness; remember it’s easier to let go than to hold on. Make amends.
  • Commit random acts of kindness, like giving away gift cards.
  • Donate toys, clothes and food to local food banks and homeless shelters or to someone you know who can use a little something extra.
  • Give compliments, they are free and can make a big difference in someone’s day.
  • Donate to your favourite charity and ask your friends to donate as well instead of exchanging gifts. Lots of companies have also started doing this as well.
  • Pick up a big bag of cat or dog food to donate at animal rescue groups.
  • Volunteer your time; there are so many places and people that would appreciate it so much; for example, hospitals, senior homes, animal shelters, after school programs for children
  • Offer to pay for someone’s groceries.
  • Pay it forward next time you buy a coffee or lunch.
  • Make time to create family traditions like watching movies together and put down the cellphones and shut off the computers.
  • Don’t forget making quality time for yourself, read, write, draw, journalling, meditate, do nothing, go for walks especially if you can in nature.

It is the Christmas in the heart that puts the Christmas in the air.” W.T. Ellis

Wishing you a Happy, Merry, Blessed and Safe Christmas.

Antoinette Giacobbe