Neck deep in the holiday season with all of the shopping, parties, trees, and the billion lights and decorations, Kim Brownlee discovers the answer to, “What is the spirit of Christmas?”
Yep, here we are, neck deep in that time of year when everyone cheerily calls out “Merry Christmas!” and “Happy Holidays!” to everyone; co-workers, family… total strangers. We pull out our holiday traditions, set up our trees and light up our houses. We attend Christmas parties, go shopping for gifts and take the kiddies to get pictures taken with Santa. Houses line streets with a billion festive lights and decorations ranging from Santa and his sleigh to the nativity scene. So many happy people going on to make new holiday memories to cherish for the rest of our lives. (Some people reading this, will at this point see the words, “blah, blah, blah…”)
How do I know this? Well, I am getting old and racking up difficulties like frequent flier miles. I have experienced quite a bit. So five years ago, I wrote a Christmas song, going over various events in my life. I was thinking that everything difficult I have gone through has made me open my eyes to the problems of those around me. And as I face yet a new chapter in my life, I decided to open my Bible and read in the book of Job, where in chapter 2, verse 10, Job says ,”…How can we accept all the good things that God gives us and not accept the problems?” So even after all that happened to Job, he did not sin. He did not accuse God of doing anything wrong.” And I realized how important it is to not complain or blame God when things go wrong. I am not alone in any of my trials and I should remember to pray for those around me and help them whenever I possibly can.
So, what is the spirit of Christmas? To me, it’s having empathy for others. Everyone deserves to be happy and full of peace and joy at Christmas. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the warm and fuzzy stuff that we tend to forget that this is the hardest time of year for those who are already suffering. Over the past few months, I’ve had at least three friends and relatives lose close loved ones! This will be their first Holiday season without them. It will be almost as painful as when they first lost them because it will be as if everyone around them is mocking their grief. All they want for Christmas is to have their loved one back! And aside from “being there” for them, there is really nothing anyone can physically do to make their grief go away. All we can do is pray that God will give them peace.
At Christmas, try to think of the different types of crises that people have to deal with. People who have lost their health, whether it be body or mind. People who have experienced a loss, such as death or divorce. Children who just can’t understand why Mommy and Daddy don’t live together anymore, or worse, children who wish Mommy and Daddy wouldn’t live together anymore because things are just that bad at home. People who have found themselves homeless. People with addictions that they just can’t beat, or those who don’t even realize they have a problem. Young people who just can’t seem to find “Mr.” or “Mrs. Right.” Whenever possible, lend a helping hand or, and when it is not possible, at the very least, pray that God will meet their needs so they can make it through, not just for the season but throughout their lives. And somewhere out there, someone will be praying for you.
So when we are shopping or when we are opening our gifts on Christmas morning, try to remember that the only thing of value under the tree is the baby who was born to save us from our pain and heartache. He is waiting with outstretched arms and unfailing love.
Copyright © Kim Brownlee 2011-2015