While growing up, Christmas was always my favorite holiday. As with most children, it was mostly about the presents, even though we firmly understood the religious aspects of it. Sure, it was the time of year we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and as a Catholic, that was a very significant religious event. But it was sure nice to get some cool stuff. Mom and Dad never spoiled me or my brothers, and sometimes it was a little hard to see others getting tons of stuff, while we received generous, albeit a smaller number of gifts. I do feel that this has provided a better context as to the nature of the holiday. Of course this is cliche, but as with most cliches, they are pretty much on target. Basically, it is not what you receive, it is what you give.
This is not new, nor is it something revolutionary. However, I think it is important to not simply give gifts purchased in the store, but to be there for family, friends, or anyone in need. This involves physically and emotionally. Simply inviting someone to dinner or taking them to lunch can be a single event that may save the holiday for someone. Someone may be suffering in silence as a result of being alone, or not having someone special in their life. Sometimes these people have deep seeded problems that may require more specialized help, but in many cases, simply listening to these people, being there to give a hug, or providing basic emotional support will in most cases pull them from the depths of depression or despair. They may still need help, but if you made their day a little better, that’s the important thing. This does not cost much, nor does it require battling crowds to purchase something, but can be priceless to someone receiving this gift.
Christmas is an important time to have the “Christmas Spirit” as most people call it. However, I think it’s equally as important to maintain this mentality and thought process throughout the year. People do not need help just one time of the year. While it may be a rougher than normal time for people suffering, I would expect these people are suffering almost equally other times of the year.
Why demonstrate the Christmas Spirit only for one month out of the year? Don’t focus on being friendly and generous just in December, but carry those intentions all year. Have the Christmas spirit all year. Be thankful for what you have all year. Celebrate your mom or dad every day. Share your love every day. Sure it’s nice to have a day to pull out all the stops and get a feast, give gifts, or get the family together, but celebrate the spirit of things every day. If everyone decides to have this spirit each day, how much better will the world be?