The true spirit of Christmas has a wonderful way of making everything more beautiful. Christmas is a very special time throughout the Christian world. The twelve day festive holiday begins Christmas Eve until Epiphany in the New Year which falls on the 6th of January. However, from November onwards, the Christmas spirit can be felt and seen everywhere with its wonderful traditions of gift giving, its beautiful Christmas Carols, Nativity scenes, Christmas trees with all their glitter and tinsel and, Christmas Day, when the family will gather to celebrate their much-loved, Christmas traditions and customs with those they love. It’s a time of happiness and excitement for all, especially the children who look forward for the arrival of Father Christmas (Santa Claus).
CHRISTMAS STORY-THE BIRTH OF JESUS
The Christmas Story however, has Divine Origins that mark the Christian era with the Birth of Christ. Jesus is the “Light of the World.” Through Him, we find the light of love, peace, happiness, hope and, the true spirit of Christmas.
God gave us the gift of His only Son and, salvation so we can inherit The Kingdom of God. Christmas commemorates the Birth of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, who was born in a humble stable in Bethlehem, on that first Christmas over 2,000 years ago, surrounded by farm animals and shepherds. In Luke 2:11 the Angel told the shepherds, “For there is Born to you this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord. We go to church at Christmas to honor the Birth of Jesus and to hear the Voice of God.
Deep within the heart, is a recognition that there is something more to this life and beyond, that only God can satisfy. It brings comfort, reassurance, strength, inspiration and a sense of connection to something much greater than we could ever imagine. Faith in God and Jesus manifests a Christian spirit in all we do.
THE SPIRIT OF GIVING
Comfort and Joy is a phrase linked to Christmas. Sadly, there are people who face hardship, sorrow and pain in their earthly lives. So, Christmas is a time to understand the true spirit of what is meant by “its better to give than to receive” because, gifts from the heart are a part of the true spirit of Christmas.
A giving, generous heart, filled with compassion, should be a way of life. We are living out the Vision of God and, we follow in the Footsteps of Jesus by giving generously to those less fortunate in any way we can, without asking for reward. The joy you give to others, is the joy that comes back to you.
It’s hard to imagine celebrating Christmas without giving gifts to family, friends and charities. Gift giving also, conveys the true spirit of Christmas as special, symbolic expressions of love, respect, gratitude, friendship and charity.
God gave the wonderful Gift of Jesus Christ to mankind. The Three Wise Men from the east followed the Star of Bethlehem to find the newborn King. They bowed before Him to acknowledge His Deity and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Santa Claus symbolizes this spirit of gift giving and, we identify him with Saint Nicholas with his good deeds and charitable gifts.
A THANKFUL HEART
A grateful heart strengthens the soul. “Be thankful unto Him, and bless His Name, for the Lord is good, His mercy is everlasting and His truth endures to all generations.” (Psalm 100:4-5). A thankful heart will reap an abundant harvest in God’s blessings. Christmas is a time to be thankful for what we have and to say, “May God bless everyone”.
Christmas Carols, with their heart-warming spirit of Christmas messages of praise and joy, make everyone feel the Christmas spirit and have a special place in the hearts of young and old. From the religious to the secular, they express the joyful and merry sounds of everything that Christmas stands for. They are sung in church and at home with family and friends, going door-to-door in small groups or, out in the street, to spread the spirit of Christmas and to raise money for charities.
Some of the most beautiful and best-loved religious, Christmas Carols like Silent Night, O Holy Night, Away in a Manger, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Hark The Herald Angels Sing, The First Noel and Little Drummer Boy are songs of praise for the Birth of Jesus. Secular Christmas Carols like Jingle Bells, White Christmas, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer and Frosty the Snowman spread their spirit of Christmas cheer with their wondrous warmth.
THE BONDS OF FAMILY
Christmas has certainly always been about the bonds of family as they gather around on Christmas Day to celebrate it’s rich Christmas customs and traditions.
On the beautifully decorated Christmas table, there may be traditional roasted meats like turkey, duck or goose, leg of ham and, mouth-watering accompaniments like seasonal vegetables and salads. There may be traditional Christmas pudding, enticing deserts and Christmas biscuits. The festive Christmas table is sure to please, as we celebrate the true spirit of Christmas, on this special day, the Birth of our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.