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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Spirit - What is it?

Every year I hear how someone is taking longer and longer to "get into the Christmas Spirit". And every year I am surprised about that statement because I feel the Christmas Spirit  most every day.  So what is it, - this Christmas Spirit.  Is it something we have only in December? Is it something we "catch" like a cold? Is it something we give to each other or find on our own by listening to Christmas Music or watching a movie?  I've been thinking about this a while and I'm not sure that I can find the correct words to match my feelings, but I'm going to try to put my thoughts into words. I thank you for staying with me while I do this. Yesterday's Hodgepodge asked about Christmas Spirit as well so this post was timed perfectly don't you think?

I believe that what people really object to is how commercialised this season seems to get. Just watch any TV ad and you will see commercials for TV, electronics, cars, games, expensive clothes and jewelry all being offered to make your loved ones feel loved. And the one tag line that I have heard over and over "No one wishes for a Smaller Holiday Gift" that drives some friends up the wall!  Get the bigger car, the newest gadget, the best vacation and you will make your loved ones love you back.  That doesn't work - ever!

Think about what makes you feel loved. It's not the new, bigger, brighter, expensive stuff, is it?  Here is what it is for me: It's waking up to the spouse that has been faithful to you for many years. It's all the coffee pots he has made for me, or the fact that the house here is always in the mid's 70's so that I can feel warm in my own home. It's hearing my children and grand children laugh or give me a hug or thank for making something simple when they are sick, like toast, or soup. It's feeling safe and secure in my own home. It's having someone to laugh with, cry with, dance with, someone who will tell you when you are acting up and pat you on the back when you do good.  It's laughing so hard, you cry. It's crying so hard, you laugh.  It's the people around me. It's knowing that something I did made someone else happy. That is what makes me feel loved. How about you?

Growing up, the Christmas season was not always a happy day at my childhood home but I do have some nice memories. I remember my aunt gathering up the toys from the older children, washing them, sewing a new dress for the dolls and a new blanket for her too from her stash of material and wrapping them for the younger children.  I got one of those dolls once and loved her for a long time. It meant something special that my "new" doll had a new dress and a blanket to wrap up made especially for me. I remember my Grannie falling asleep on the couch one year and my sister and I took her "pug" down to see how long her hair really was and when she woke up we all laughed so hard we cried. Then she stood up so we could see that her hair went  down to her butt and we laughed again.  She wasn't mad that we took her hair down, she enjoyed our curiosity. I remember hearing carolers singing in the street down town. I remember my cousins and I running outside playing on Christmas day while our parents cooked, or watched TV or sat around talking until it was time to eat.  I remember the first really new doll I ever got - Chatty Cathy. Most of our gifts were clothes because we needed clothes.

I remember hearing the Story of Jesus birth but not just in December but year round. I use to look at a picture book we had about it and wonder if angels still sing on Jesus' birthday and if they ever sang "Happy Birthday" to Him. See these are things that create the Christmas Spirit in me. Not the TV adds for hot cocoa, but the cup of cocoa made for us by someone who loves us.

Christmas became very special once Hubby and I got married. We created our own holiday and laughed and ate and played music and shared our meals and felt safe and warm and loved.

See, to me the term "Christmas Spirit" is backwards. People talk about Christmas Spirit as if it shows up on the door step like the mail on a certain day and if it's not there then they don't have it. It's not dictated by how much money you have, or how many people are showing at your home. It's is not limited by your decorations or how many Christmas songs you listen to. To me it's not the Christmas Spirit - It's the Spirit of Christmas - something we get to keep year round by remembering who's birth we are truly celebrating and why we needed Him to be born in the first place. It's something we get to keep January - January, every year if we allow it to stay in our hearts. It's about the greatest Love in the world and He was born for us to accept His gift. That has no limits.

Now I fully understand that I am blessed. I have a husband who loves me and cares for me, many don't. I have a warm home to live in, many don't. I have gas for my car to get me to work, many don't. I have warm food to eat, every day, many don't. But at one time, I didn't have some of these things either, yet I still sang Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas and wondered if the Angels sang that to Him as well.

Where do you get your Christmas Spirit? Or better put, how do you keep your Spirit of Christmas?

Outfit #21 and we still have no snow up in the right hand corner of the USA! That's why I wore this, snow on the shirt at least.


  1. Wow ... that was excellent! You're so right ... Christmas spirit has NOTHING to do with material things ... but things of the heart such as love, care, support, compassion, joy ... and most of all, Jesus.

    P.S. I'm glad someone besides me is offended by the tag line "No one wishes for a Smaller Holiday Gift".

  2. I grew up with the best parents who put their all into Christmas. It was always the best, I could not want for more. I have done the same for my children over the years. They are adults now but their excitement is still in their eyes.I believe I carry the Spirit of Christmas in my heart all year long.
    Now is saying this I also need to say that this year I am moving slower in my decorating and putting out less. There is something different flowing through me this year, kind of a less is more feeling. Yes I complained about getting gifts wrapped and shipped. I finally got my Christmas cards in the mail. The decorations are being worked on and the cookies will be baked. I just feel that the year flew by and this holiday season just seemed to sneak up on me this year.

  3. Great thoughts; I watch some of those commercials and think no, I don't need a piece of jewelry to feel loved or a fancy TV, etc. I think we need to be content with what we have and grateful for the wonderful gift of Jesus and that Christmas Spirit will be with us all through the year, and then we have to take that contentment and love for Jesus and go to a hurting lonely world and spread his message of love and forgiveness and hope and peace and then maybe others will come to know that he is the best gift of all! thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  4. Thank you for your wonderful comments. I know that this post was long and I SO appreciate that you not only took the time to read it but to add an comment as well. Thank you so very much.
    Debbie: Nothing wrong with "Less is more" attitude. I do believe that as get older, the year speeds up!
    Betty: So right on! Once we have the peach and hope that comes from Jesus, we need to pass it on.... One reason for my post today.

  5. Your Spirit of Christmas post today echoes how I feel about Thanksgiving; that is, I don't need a holiday called Thanksgiving to remind me how blessed I am. Like you, I had years when I wasn't fortunate and I've not forgotten those tough times. Christmas is the extension of all that for me - another reason to celebrate all that I'm grateful for - most of all the people I love, and who that love me.

  6. This was a great post, and says so much of what I've been trying to figure out how to put into words! I agree with you whole-heartedly :)


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