For many people, Christmas is not a joyous celebration with friends and loved ones. It is lonely, it is boring, it is a reminder of the past, it is depressing. But must those of us who feel this way face the holidays with this mindset?
What does Christmas mean to you? It is an important question to consider.
In my view, Christmas is a time when people face their inmost needs with a joyous expectation of faith. It is cold outside, so people meet together in each others’ homes, eating food and creating enjoyment with each other with festive candlelight and happy music. For one day out of the year, it becomes acceptable for people to reveal their non-conscious selves to each other, to openly cherish the shared purpose of sacrificing their pride and dignity, in order to have a deep fellowship with others, even strangers, who are keen enough to share the same purpose.
Why do we give gifts to one another? We give gifts to each other, because we are innately aware of a deep, unspoken, hunger for goodness in our hearts. We want to be reminded of who we are in Christs’ love. We realize we cannot constructively satisfy this hunger on our own. So, we come to understand how we all depend on each other. People need the warmth and security that loved ones can bring into our lives. Christians celebrate Christmas as the time when God gave His Son to humanity, thereby meeting the deepest needs of fallen man.
For most people, Christmas time is a happy one, because in facing their inmost needs, they discover that their needs are well met, and they can be happily thankful for their circumstances. (I suppose this is why children enjoy Christmas the most, since the fulfillment of a child’s need is not generally dependent on his/her behavior.) But for many people, the Christmas season is a very sad one, because when they face their needs, they find themselves and their lives to be inadequate towards making them happy and grateful. I think this is why older people, and people living alone, are least affected by the Christmas season. It is also why so many people are sad and depressed during the holidays.
How can one enjoy the Christmas Spirit at will? A person should…
- Know when one is unable to help or enjoy ones’ self, and to take measures to counteract the negative effects of being alone or helpless.
- Recognize who is a friendly person to create social engagements with, or who can be asked for help.
- Have the discernment to know the right time to make an appearance, or to ask for help.
The purpose of the Christmas Season is to enjoy the gratitude that comes from finding one’s needs met in life, and to rest in the happy contentment of knowing that one is universally and non-negotiably loved. If a person can do this, then he has found the Spirit of Christmas, which is a true thankfulness and joy. If a person has not found the Spirit of Christmas, then he has not yet identified the significance of this purpose in his life.
A person also needs…
- Humility – realize that the Christmas Spirit does not depend on one’s self, but that it can be enhanced by one’s self.
- Humanity – have the eyes to see kindness in small places, and have the heart to be compassionate to everyone who offers their love to you.
It is my sincere wish for you to find the Spirit and the Purpose of the Christmas Season in your life at this time.
God bless you and Merry Christmas!