Lisa Ricard Claro – Author

Romance is good for your heart!

The Spirit of Christmas

Posted on Dec 17, 2010 by Lisa Ricard Claro   10 Comments | Posted in christmas · holiday

Today’s post is a bit of a cheat—a repeat from last Christmas. I hope you don’t mind the duplication, but this sums up how I feel about the holiday. Do you agree with what I’ve written below, or disagree? I’d love to hear your comments about the Spirit of Christmas.

Clip art courtesy of Webweaver

Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” made its annual appearance the other night. Old bagger that I am, I nodded off through part of Christmas Past and Present.  Later, Tiny Tim uttered his famous line without me because I was staring into the kitchen pantry wishing a can of beets would morph into a bag of M&M’s.  The M&M’s never materialized, so I ended up back in front of the tube grumbling, “Humbug!”  I settled for an Oreo cookie, but my chocolate craving remained unfulfilled.

Scrooge was unhappy, too, sobbing over his own gravestone and begging the Spirit of Christmas Future for a chance to change the course of his life. He promised to hold the Spirit of Christmas in his heart every day and not just at the Christmas season.  

I have always focused on the story’s message that we have the power to impact our future by changing our behavior in the present.  For instance, how this cookie I’m munching tonight will evidence itself on my hips tomorrow.  Keeping the Spirit of Christmas inside us every day, with every breath—that concept I never fully pondered. 

So what is the Spirit of Christmas? I believe it is being kind to others, being grateful for what we have, loving each other and forgiving one another in spite of our differences and foibles.  The Spirit of Christmas is the contentment we find in the presence of our loved ones, and the happiness derived from joyful giving. 

Surprise! I thought of religion not even once. 

Christmas is more than just a Christian holiday. When I was a kid, most folks understood this concept. No one took offense at the trappings of Christmas because of the good things that ride on this holiday’s coattails. Not so much these days, with political correctness running amok. Too bad, because “good will toward men” is a positive thing, no matter what religion one practices. 
In spite of that, I still believe there is plenty of Christmas to go around. As a Christian, I celebrate Christ in the holiday, but if I awoke with amnesia and no recollection of being Christian, Jewish or Muslim I would yet delight in the sight of shy children talking to Santa. I would still be grateful for the love of my family. I would enjoy the lights on the neighborhood homes, and understand that dropping loose change into the Salvation Army bucket and donating canned goods to the local food bank should continue past December 31st.
That each person’s heart might, every day, hold alive the Spirit of Christmas is as impossible as turning a can of beets into a bag of M&M’s; and yet, I wonder . . . perhaps the miracle lies not in wanting it to happen, but in believing with all of my heart that one day, it will. 
May the Spirit of Christmas drift upon you, gentle as a snowflake and bright as a star; may the gifts of love and hope be visited upon you in abundance; and may God bless us. . .every one.

Merry Christmas –

10 Responses to "The Spirit of Christmas"

  1. Comment by Sioux Roslawski
    December 17, 2010 at 12:44 am  

    Perhaps Mr. Constanza was right: create a holiday that is not based on any particular religion. Since I cannot see the "Festivus" tree and the "feats of strength" catch on, perhaps we need to distance the fat guy in the red suit away from Christmas so that kids—Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, heathen, Wiccan–can enjoy him. Everybody likes candy and gifts. Everybody could use a little more good will and good cheer in their lives. (And I'm glad you chose to rerun this, since I was not bloggified last year and thus, did not get the chance to read it when it was originally posted.)

  2. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    December 17, 2010 at 12:53 am  

    Thanks Sioux – I always appreciate your comments, and I'm glad you gave a thumbs up to the rerun. 🙂

  3. Comment by Linda O'Connell
    December 17, 2010 at 7:01 am  

    Lisa,What a lovely sentiment. I was watching a TV show where the dad asked the son who had his hands folded if he were actually praying, and the kid replied, "It's okay, I'm not in school." As a society we have become way too politically correct. A new student entered my class recently. I told her parents about our upcoming Christmas Pageant. It was such a relief to hear her dad say, "No worries. We're Jewish, but we do every holiday to expose her." Why can't we all be as accepting as a child? "Spirit of Christmas drift upon you as bright as a star and soft as a snowflake"…oooh beautiful word choice. Thanks for sharing. I agree with your premise.

  4. Comment by K9friend
    December 17, 2010 at 9:34 am  

    Very nice essay, Lisa, and thoughts well worth re-running! Merry Christmas to you, too!

  5. Comment by Bookie
    December 17, 2010 at 11:17 am  

    Since I am new here, the essay, outstanding in its truths, is new to me. I am glad I didn't miss it! Please do it again next year as it is timeless and worth any re-reading.

  6. Comment by Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy
    December 18, 2010 at 5:30 pm  

    Oh, Lisa, this is just plain wonderful! I saw that you posted it a couple of days ago and glanced at it, but I wanted to wait until I had time to really read it. I share your sentiments exactly. You wrote it all so well. God bless you and Merry Christmas!<3 Kathy

  7. Comment by Cathy C. Hall
    December 19, 2010 at 10:28 pm  

    One good thing about getting older…I can read this post and enjoy it just as much as I did last year. 🙂

  8. Comment by Tammy
    December 19, 2010 at 11:40 pm  

    Lovely. Just lovely. Merry Christmas back.

  9. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    December 21, 2010 at 1:49 pm  

    Hi Linda – I agree that it is a relief to meet up with someone who isn't on the political correctness bandwagon. I don't mind saying happy Hanukkah or have a blessed Ramadan and I'm not offended by anyone else who does. Merry Christmas shouldn't be such a lightning rod either. Hi Pat — Thanks!Hi Bookie — Thank you! I appreciate your sentiment and may make it a blog tradition. 🙂

  10. Comment by Lisa Ricard Claro
    December 21, 2010 at 1:51 pm  

    Hi Kathy – Merry Christmas to you, too!Hey Cathy C. — You aren't getting older, just wiser. That's why your my writing Yoda. :)Hi Tammy — Thanks!

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: