What brings you the "Christmas Spirit?" Is there really such a thing? Some people "need" snow to "feel" Christmasy; or need to "hear" certain songs of the season. As Christians, how are we supposed to "feel" at Christmas time?
Many years ago, I found that only things that pertain to my faith in Jesus Christ really gave me anything that resembled the "Christmas Spirit." So called "Christmas Music" playing in department stores the day after Halloween doesn't cut it for me. Neither do the decorations that soon follow. Salvation Army bell ringers are annoying and I pay them to stop ringing for just a few seconds ... (kidding!)
I had a long talk with myself about the things that make up "Christmas" for my family, years past and present, prayed about them and asked the Lord to help me sort out what was for His glory and what was just for my love of the winter season. So far this is how I've been lead:
1. Writing a Christmas letter to my friends and/or designing our card = Christmas Spirit
2. Searching for the perfect tree out on our tree farm = Love of Winter
3. Organizing gifts I've purchased all summer/fall to be wrapped = Christmas Spirit
4. Checking the mailbox/side steps for online purchases that have been delivered = Christmas Spirit
5. Art projects with children at elementary schools this time of year = Love of Winter
6. School concerts; especially my granddaughter's and daughter-in-law's ...where they still sing of the birth of Jesus Christ! = Christmas Spirit
7. Choir practice; cantata performances = Christmas Spirit
8. Planning the meals/get-togethers with family - Christmas Spirit
9. Baking - Love of Winter
10. Opening cards/letters from friends - Christmas Spirit
11. Decorating the outside and inside of our home - Love of Winter
...and the winner is: Christmas Spirit, sprinkled with doses of Love of Winter - sanctioned by God through His Saving Grace, first seen by shepherds who had none of the above but left the manger praising Him; and who has blessed us here in the northeast with the winter season to be enjoyed but not worshiped.
I am reminded of the portion of a verse in Corinthinans: "and these three remain, hope, faith and love; but the greatest of these is love." We seem to focus on "love" and neglect the other two. Why? I don't know... anyone can have "faith" by definition, but the Christian faith is the only one with real "hope." No other religion can provide the hope of a happy "ever after." Some allude to the possibility of one ... if you work hard enough in this life and the next; but Christianity is the ONLY one that offers it free and clear, just for the trusting and asking. It's Biblical. It's real. It satisfies the soul as no other religion can do. I learned this years ago and hope you, dear reader, have this understanding, too.
Been riding on the coat-tails of your parents faith? Let go, step away and begin this walk on your own, right now! Find the Real Christmas Spirit that is waiting just for YOU... a personal gift from God through Jesus Christ. The very best way to celebrate Christmas! Not sure how? Message me @firstname.lastname@example.org
Merry Christmas to all of you and may the light of our Heavenly Father shine upon you this holy season, reminding you of the Cost of Christmas. It cost Jesus everything so everyone, thank him right now!