Thursday, December 23, 2010
The Spirit of Christmas
Christmas is not just a magical time of year filled full of bright lights, candy canes and gifts we receive under the tree. Christmas is a sacred time of the year. Those who are not spiritual in nature still hold the Spirit of Christmas sacred. Even if you are not one to celebrate the birth of Christ most of us honor the meaning of Christmas, the spirit of this blessed season through the giving of ourselves and of our time. Sacrifice is the main ingredient in this season of holly and mistletoe and though we may not always have much to offer most of us find a way to make what we have go a little farther, to bring joy to others and those we love.
Christmas in our home has always been a bit of homemade love, sprinkled with joy and the opening of our home to those in need of hope. As a little girl Christmas was filled with wonder … dancing lights, a sparkling tree, a warm beautiful glowing star with outside lights paving the way for Santa. I have always loved this time of year and all the festivities that come with it. One of my favorite things is to place a wreath on our door, a welcome to all who enter our home, a symbol of our unending love for one another.
Looking back our hearth has never been much but it has always brought warmth, love and harmony into our lives. We have never turned anyone away because we did not have enough. In truth I grew up in a home that knew no stranger. My parents always felt no matter how little we had we had a responsibility to share with those who had no home. I grew up learning the real meaning of charity. Though my parents never gave away hand outs, they did give to those in need, many times doing without themselves. They rose to the challenge more often than not and yes they did go without many times, but they always gave with a servant’s heart.
Our home was always open, and no one was ever turned away no matter how little we had. I can remember many times giving my bed up so someone else who did not have one could sleep warm in a bed for the night. I grew up in a home with kindled hearth, warm and full of joy, where I was taught this love of life and charity should be shared. So as I look toward this Christmas, I feel am blessed to have my family by my side to share these beautiful festivities no matter how big or small with each of them.
We have had bountiful years and scarce years, yet through each of them I have never felt as if we did not have enough to share. I have watched my parents sacrifice and honor the Lord in their lives on a daily basis. I have seen them offer all they have including their home, their vehicles and the food on their table through the years. Yes I have seen some judge them, look down upon them and condemn them because they have not responded with an iron fist to those in need of God’s grace and mercy. Yet in spite of it all, I have seen the love of God in their lives shine through even the darkest night. Love, mercy , grace and charity, all fruits of the spirit, growing bountifully in their lives, bringing hope and joy to those whom many see as hopeless.
This year, in keeping with the tradition my parents began, we will open our home and our hearts to those we love. We will sit down to a bountiful meal together surrounded by family and friends we hold dear. We will offer our humble home and give thanks for the many blessings God has given us this year, including the roof over our heads, , the blessings of a table to gather around, the food offered upon the very same table, a place to rest our heads and the gifts under our tree, but most of all for the very breathe we take on Christmas day.
So this Christmas my friends, I offer up this prayer for you: May you find peace, happiness and joy in this season. May you know God’s peace, a deep, internal joy which comes from selflessness and sacrifice. May you rest in His hands, knowing each day we are given is a gift. May you hold the gift of the Magi in your hearts and embrace today my friend holding true to the Spirit of this Season each and every day of the New Year.