© 2009 Marica

097 – Christmas spirit

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
— Dr. Seuss

December is well and truly here. This means another Christmas, and the end of another year, are fast approaching. Everyone is fixated on Christmas primarily because it is a holiday and for many it is the start of a lengthy summer break (that is if summer ever decides to make a lasting appearance in our part of the world). I’m however feeling flat and unexcited about it all.

This morning I realised that I needed to get myself into the Christmas spirit but somehow the feeling is eluding me. If my daughters were around they would’ve put up the Christmas tree by now – but they’re not, and I haven’t got around to it yet. I haven’t played any Christmas CDs. I definitely haven’t done any Christmas baking. Then there is the dreaded present buying which I am totally avoiding and not thinking about. I am also feeling bad because I haven’t yet posted a parcel to my daughter who is living in London even though I have it all sitting here ready to go.

“Where is my Christmas spirit?” I wondered.

My next thought was, “What is Christmas spirit anyway?”

“It is many different things to people and it is expressed in many different ways,” said the sensible me.

I thought about all the people in my life. I have friends who don’t believe in Christmas and they can’t stand anything to do with it. I have other friends for whom this is a deeply significant religious celebration. I know other people who find Christmas an extremely lonely and depressing time. I know others who go over the top in celebrating Christmas, spending huge amounts of money in the process. For some it is about present giving. For others it is about sharing. For others it is an excuse for a party. For some it is about giving thanks. Then there are those of us that believe in the possibility of peace and goodwill to all. Underlying all of this though there is something intangible that is at the core – the true spirit of Christmas – and it is generally not something that is talked about.

Christmas is special to me and it has nothing to do with the commercialisation of this religious celebration.

For me, Christmas spirit is a feeling which takes over and envelopes my being. It is related to the celebration of the birth of a child. More than anything else it is about family, especially being with my children. I view Christmas as an opportunity to stop, reflect and just be together in a fully present way with all our own family traditions we have created over the years. It is always a crazy, yet special time which changes every year as we grow and change. There have been great Christmases and not so great ones. There are so many reminders every year of what has been but always there is the promise of hope, of what can or will be.

Christmas spirit is a joyous feeling generated in me by so many things but the one thing that always reminds me of the special messages of Christmas is ‘light’ – the light from a flickering candle, the lights on the Christmas tree, the light that shines in the eyes of each human being that crosses my path, the light of love in my heart for my children, my husband, my family and friends. Long may it burn.

May you all know the spirit of peacefulness as you get ready for Christmas in the days ahead. Be kind to yourself and others. By giving freely of our spirit we receive in abundance in return. Life has taught me this.

16. Every day looking at the order of things gives you power.
25. Every day your light shines for others to see.
28. Every day you will be tested.

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