It’s startling to believe that another year has whooshed by and Christmas is once again upon us. You might be asking yourself how to make it different or extra-special this year.
Well, why not be more concerned with the spirit of Christmas instead of material possessions?
The origin of Christmas differs for people all around the world; for Christians, it is the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ, while Roman pagans originally introduced the holiday of Saturnalia, a week long period of lawlessness celebrated between 17th – 25th December. On Christmas Eve, it’s traditional for Czech women to put their backs to the front door of their houses and throw a shoe over their shoulders.
Whatever Christmas means to you, improve your time this year by reflecting on the true meaning of Christmas, aligning it with your soul and providing not just physical but spiritual gifts!
Understanding the True Meaning of Christmas
Regardless of your religious beliefs, Christmas reminds us of time’s passing and the birth and regeneration of new life. Spiritual individuals take time to identify this, and are consequently more contented beings who care less about the commercial aspect of Christmas and do not crave materialistic things such as the latest fashion or hottest new trends. After all, it is very easy to get lost in the modern world where priorities are scrambled and true meanings are trampled on or discarded.
These days in particular, people find it hard to find spiritual enlightenment during the festive season, what with everything there is to get done, like buying and wrapping gifts, writing cards and preparing lavish feasts. Why not take a moment to stop and think about what Christmas really means from a whole new perspective?
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,
To bring peace among brothers,
To make music in the heart.”
— from The Mood of Christmas, by Howard Thurman
Have Love, Hope and Compassion
Being spiritual means seeing the world and its inhabitants from every angle, as well as having extra time and consideration for yourself and others. A spiritual being cares not just about people, but animals and the environment, believing that we are all equal and one presence.
For a lot of people, Christmas can be a time of sadness. Perhaps it is because they lack the funds to afford presents for their loved ones, or are reminded of those who have been lost. Perhaps you are one of these people? A way to move forward and eliminate any feelings of misfortune is by channelling that sadness into positivity and practical thinking.
Take time to look at the things you do have, and be thankful – even if you aren’t the wealthiest of individuals, consider things such as your health, your family and friends. There are some very rich people in the world who struggle with depression due to feelings of isolation, incompleteness and hopelessness. If you are mourning the loss of a loved one, be it a person or animal, be thankful of the impact they had on your life and believe in their presence, even if you are unable to see them.
“There is a strange irony in the usual salutation, ‘Merry Christmas,’ when most of the people on this planet are thrown back upon themselves for food which they do not possess, for resources that have long since been exhausted, and for vitality which has already run its course. Nevertheless, the inescapable fact remains that Christmas symbolises hope even at a moment when hope seems utterly fantastic. The raw materials of the Christmas mood are a new-born baby, a family, friendly animals, and labour.
— from Deep Is the Hunger by Howard Thurman
Be True to Yourself
The festive season can often put pressure upon us; while we are expected to be incessantly joyous there are times when we might want to sit quietly, alone or with others, and celebrate in our own contemplative way. Remember, there is no rule that says you cannot be who you are and approach things in your own individual way. If people do not approve, let that be their problem, not yours.
There are countless ways to appreciate the miracle of life and those who we share it with. By having a more spiritual approach, you are immediately opening doors to new ideas, practices and inspirations, leading to true happiness.
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
-from Happy Birthday to You by Dr. Seuss
Be more spiritual this Christmas
From filling your house with decorations to dancing with your partner, visiting your local place of worship or the grave of a late friend or family member, there are so many ways to be thankful for Christmas and what it represents to you.
Find new reasons to smile and laugh. Stop and smell the fresh air at the dawn of a brand new day. Find wonder in nature’s beauty, from the intricate detail of a spider’s web to the stunning spiral of colour inside a flower.
Reflect back on past Christmases, how you have previously celebrated and what things have inspired you to celebrate the way you do now. Are you a habitual person who chooses to celebrate each year in the same traditional way or do you secrete spontaneity, craving new ideas and inspiration? Whatever your answer, just be you!