what is the spirit of christmas?


it is 1:04 am my time ,, december 23 as I sit here thinking of the conflicts in the world,, in my life ..
I could only think of my own spiritual crissis which is ongoing and nothing dramatic.

it is indirectly tied to christmas.. it is indirectly tied to the ideal of christ and idea of him.

and right now that crissis of walking the path falls to christmas and what is it meaning..

sure for some it means getting that gift we don't normally get,,
sure for some it means family..
for others it means the birth of their lord,, and for others a birth of a myth.
and for the cynical it means the commercialism of ideals to make money.

but that is in general terms.. for each of it it means something special, something unique,, perhaps something sad.

I recall a christmas where my mom was supposed to pick me up as a lad and she didnt' pick me up christmas day because she had car troubles..
I was so emotional that my aunty came and pick me up and I remember crying while my mom argued with my aunty over the phone and i remember my aunty saying to her "i think your really low "
and when my mom got there, she had gifts in the car,, and ask me where do you want to live,
it was an emotional time all around.
which as i think of it guilty even now would not of been so emotional if i wasnt' such a momma boy :) ehhe.

and the last christmas before my old poppa died i went to see him and as he layed there so tired, and old. (i was a teenager at the time)
i said "arent' you happy it is christmas" and he said "it is just another day to me"
and i was crushed by those words and i left shortly after that.

oh sure there were other sad christmases,, the deaths last christmas, the year i went to see my brother in jail. and so forth.

the other good christmas is simply christmas without those bad feelings,, the severity of the tree of life from kabbalah.
still in all those times i kept the idea of christmas (well i can't speak for it when i was a boy for i don't remember my mind set ).

there is an idea from course of miracles that there is no special days (i don't recall that in my studies but i am taking there is no levels , no superiority to be reflected in the days of christmas, easter, halloween)
and so if christmas is just another day,, are we to forget to spend time with our families,, to spread some cheer, to spread love, compassion, and give freely (more on giving in a while)
or are we to take that the idea of just another day to mean that we are to share this every day,, not just all through the year,,but every day through the year.

that is living up to the true message of christmas.. to heal when society thinks we shouldn't (the young girl who was in a car accident,, the doctors feared that she should be brain dead so felt it useless to fix her bum leg,, which greatly hurt the parents who made them fix the bum leg)..
to give when society think we shouldn't (dont' give to that bum,, he will only drink it but that is a generalizatin and not all "bums"are like that ).

yet consider the words,, that which i do , you can do and more..
and the miracle of the birth of such a message .
the message is the creator loves us without any conditions, any need,, any judgements.
and that we should do the same..

and so the giving that should be examined..
i remember over the holiday just today that I was going to give my nephew a 360 game,, but his dad wanted it for himself so i had to go another 360 game..
and my brother gift to me would be simply a cd..
and so i began to weigh value ot love by material means..
and felt anger.
then I remember why i was giving the gift to the nephew in the first place,, not to impress it him,, nor to buy him,, but to give a symbol of my love however tempory so that he may remember it.
and who knows perhaps it will sustain him when i am gone from this mortal coil in material fashion.

still it is hard enough for most of us to do this for one specific day , that is special for many of us,,
how much harder is it for us to do this every day with the same emotion, same love, without any ego,, or attempt to let go of ego so we may give.

with this in mind, however limited christmas does the world,, it is but a shadow,, a dim light of the true spirit that can overcome the world.

psychic sue

Holmes - you have touched on several points I have been thinking about myself these last few days.

I have a friend who's husband died suddenly a few months ago. She is left with two teenagers, and no skills as such to get a well-paid job (she has been a full time mother since the children were born - the best job of all), and now she is feeling so desolate. She is dreading Christmas.

I was thinking myself, "it's just another day", and I get annoyed by the commercialism of it all. I also bought my niece and brother expensive gifts that I knew they wanted, and I know I will be lucky to receive anything - but as you say, that is not really the point. It is the joy of giving that counts.

I am afraid I am a cynic - the Christian message of Christmas has long since been forgotten, here in the UK anyway. I will celebrating my own spiritual Christmas this year, thanking God for all the wonderful things he has given me in my life - my health, my children, the fact that I am warm and fed when so many on this earth are not. I feel, these are the things we should think about too.

Hope you have a lovely Christmas Holmes - you so deserve one.


Sue x


Xmas is one day when a spiritual window opens in the world and we see how things COULD & SHOULD be everyday....maybe one day we will be so advanced that we can do it...but in the meantime Holmes, you do your bit as we all do, and together maybe good people can change the world. Ignore the materialism and cynicism and dont be part of it, concentrate on the things that matter in life.



You bring so many good points out. As usual, you make me think.

I have all happy memories of Christmas so it is hard for me to put myself in your place and imagine such hurtful things happening to you at Christmas. It makes me wonder if the concept of Christmas does more harm than good because it leaves so many hurt and feeling unworthy.


PS There is nothing wrong with being a Mama's boy!


Christmas is the warm, golden glow you have in your heart for everyone. In effect Jesus is born every year at Christmas.
It is a new beginning all over again and again. You do what you can for those close to you and for those you do not know you pray for good things for them. Charity does begin at home and from there you try to help those you can and it does go on all year.
Have you ever seen a drop of oil or gasoline in a puddle ? You know how it swirls and spreads and has colors and just goes everywhere in the puddle ?
Well that is like prayer, it is action, and it just goes on and on.
A Blessed Christmas to you Holmes and to all here at Aeclectic.


Nice thoughts Holmes ......

I was raised a Catholic. I went to a parochial school. Even though it may be considered a strict upbringing by many, in truth my parents were not overtly zealous on the home front. They lived liked Christians - considered family to be paramount, courtesy and respect to always be exercised, and yes, a bit of the old Roman Catholic guilt to employed.

The nuns who taught me were hypocrites, but human. The school had a rule forbidding parents to give them Christmas gifts, but gifts they received - always a bottle to swelter the best stocked liquor cabinet in town.

So, Christmas to me was observing the birth of Christ and remember him but also not to be ashamed of being allowed to be a kid and look forward to Santa Claus' visit.

As I got older, my values changed. It has always been a special time of year. The pace of our mundane lives get slower. First it was in school at winter break and now it is at the workplace. A time to be with family and friends and wind down from a busy year.

I have been lucky not to lose anyone at this time of year. Those special to me have passed during other times during the year. I feel sorry for those who lose someone special this time of year and often wonder how it clouds the subsequent holiday seasons in their lives. I was in Vermont this past week and heard about an awful fire over the weekend which claimed a man's wife and all four of his children. How can anyone recover from something like that, no matter what time of year? But how much worse it is as I imagine he suddenly cannot share in the excitement of those children as the day gets closer. I remember when I was in college, studying for an exam (I was still living at home) and listening to Carols through my headphones. It was the first time I really listened to the words of I'll Be Home For Christmas, and suddenly I got depressed, realizing that what I had was being taken for granted - that my loved ones would not be there someday. That was a big revelation for me.

When I got my first apartment by myself, I celebrated by getting my first tree - it was a real one, and the first one I ever had (my family always had an artificial one). My friends had gotten together and threw a surprise housewarming party for me, and each brought one ornament for the tree.

The following year, I was married, and found myself with a six year old stepson. Being the youngest in my extended family, I was never around many children, and this boy took to me right away and called me "Dad" (until his real father threatened to beat him if he continued to do so). I still remember that first Christmas with him. The joy I had shopping for toys for him. The look on his face as he opened presents and jumped up to hug us after every one. All this joy, tempered by the fact that he had to spend the rest of his Christmas vacation with his father (away from all his new toys, which his father forbade him from bringing with him) who bought him only clothes for Christmas.

Christmas was special to me as he grew up, but ultimately his mother and I divorced, he grew up, went into the service (serving in Iraq) and alas, our paths have gone in different directions, perhaps the only true sadness in my life.

But this year I face my first true Christmas with Laura (yes, we were together last year, but the poor soul spent the entire time with morning sickness) and our first with Gabrielle. She is too young to understand, but she will have presents under the tree :) Well, not entirely true. It has been so hectic this year we never had time to get a tree. So, for the first time since I had my first apartment those twenty-plus years ago, I will not have a tree. But somehow, that seems unimportant this year (starting next year, it is a different story).

So, what is the spirit of Christmas to me? I have drifted from the Catholic faith. I still see Christ as an important figure, but for who he was as a person and a teacher, not as some mythical figure. I, like many, am growing increasingly annoyed at the commercialism. In fact, the only stores I have walked into this past month have been bookstores - all of my other shopping has been online. However, whenever this time of year arrives, the feeling of my youth returns and I feel young again. As Gabrielle grows, I can only see this getting stronger. I finally have my own family to celebrate with, and I am lucky that my parents are still around to enjoy, and to see them enjoy their granddaughter. I guess the bottom line is that to me, Christmas is just a "feeling".

Happy holidays to all!


I too lost my Dad on the 15 December 10 years ago, his cremation service was held on the 23 December, today 10 years ago. Other people were getting ready for Christmas - we had no Christmas spirit left in us that year.

I light a candle for my Dad for the day he died and for the day he was cremated, I lit his candle earlier, but life does have to go on.

I loved Christmas and once I had my son I said that I would never let it spoil his Christmas time - it is very commercial and I'm not religious at all but I still love Christmas.


Thank you for that, Emily. Having a child around does help ease the pain.

One thing I just remembered when you said that. Several years ago my Mom had a biopsy right before Christmas. She had had one a couple years prior, and they gave her the results over the phone (everything was OK). This time, they wouldn't do so and even had the nerve to tell her they never, ever give results over the phone, so this wasn't necessarily bad. Of course, because of the prior experience, we knew this was bull, so we knew the news was not good.

What made it worse was that they scheduled her appointment to tell her the results on the day after Christmas (Xmas was on a Thursday, the appointment was on a Friday). Obviously this left a dark cloud over the whole time. As it turns out, she did have breast cancer, but they removed it and she has been fine (knock on wood) ever since.



Dan's post reminded me! My father's birthday was Christmas Day and my Mother died on Christmas Day.

Our family Christmases for most of the last 30 years have been joyful affairs, occasionally punctuated with mountains of sadness, usually through the death of loved ones. Odd as it sounds, Christmas is about the birth of Christ but to us most of the family deaths have occurred around that time, too. My sisters and I became very close, and now our brothers are coming back into the fold. Boys tend to drift away a little.

Christmas days for us were a kind of tribal repeat of childhood days, with long debates and meditative walks in the summer heat, along the banks of the local creek. And the laughter and joyous shrieks of the many children. :)

None of my family have retained the Catholic faith, but family is really important to each of us, I think. Apart from partners, we only have each other and the shared childhood experiences are still very powerful. The ritual of Christmas is for us a family ritual. The spirit is one of love and the richness that comes from a shared past. This anchors us in the world.

We can ignore the commercialism if we want to, though it is harder for families with kids because of the peer pressure and the consumer pressure.

This Christmas will be a happy, poignant time. Blessings to all who seek happiness and renewed life.



But no one has answered the question yet - What is the spirit of Christmas?

Christmas/Channukah/Yule is a time of great mood swings. We are told (constantly) how 'wonderful' it all is, yet when you read the postings here you realize that Life intrudes, no matter what you 'planned' for the holiday. Or, as John Lennon said "Life is what happens while you're making other plans." What I always see as the major culprit is that Christmas stuff comes out in July here in the USA (Christmas in July sales), so in reality for FIVE MONTHS, even if you avoid going in the Hallmark(R) store to see what new ornaments they added this year - you have five months of someone telling you 'Christmas is wonderful','Christmas is beautiful,' 'Christmas is the best time of the entire year!'

And someone really close to you dies two days before Christmas; today is such an anniversary for me.

I didn't get the news until the morning of the 24th - do you know what rage swelled up when I heard the news? All the Christmas Sugar Plum Fairy gooey-gooey goodness came crashing down around me. Five months of being told all that line of joy was made hollow and worthless in an instant.

That was three years ago. My friend made me many gifts during our 25-year friendship, many of them Christmas gifts. So, I hang the wreaths she made up on my doors, pull out the Santa figures she made, and all the stuff she gave me - and put it on display - not to be depressing but to witness the fact that she lives on in the things I am proud to display.

When the whole world is telling you what kind of Christmas to have - what happens when that prolonged expectation comes up short?

One of my Christmastime rituals is to read Dicken's "A Christmas Carol," - not watch a Hollywood 'vision' of what it 'should have been' tailored to fit an actor's talent's or filled with cutesy chorus and dance numbers. Sit down and read "A Christmas Carol" from beginning to end - non-stop if possible. Scrooge had some pretty crappy stuff happen to him as a child; there were hurts and tragedies and a lot of scars that turned him into the man he became. An evening of ghostly visitors and a brush with mortality brings him to an epiphany and a realization - not unlike what we do when we give a strong tarot reading when we see the light bulb go on over the querent's head.

Scrooge's transformation describes the spirit of Christmas for me.