Found this challenge blog through a friend I follow and decided to join in. The question, what do I believe the true spirit of Christmas is? Well, with my faith in Christ I already believe the true reason for Christmas is Jesus. I have full faith that the first Christmas was when Jesus was born to the
virgin named Mary in a small town called Bethlehem. And I also center my celebrations around ways to help remember Christ and His love, hope, and grace from Santa (the real story) and our decorations to the birthday cake I bake with my boys every Christmas Eve.
But the true spirit of Christmas? I guess some could say I pretty much already touched that subject with what I said above, but I believe this actually deserves it's own seperate answer and thought. For the longest time I would have given the typical "sunday school" answer by saying it's to celebrate Christ and to love each other and although that is definitely true about Christmas (and any day of the year for that matter) I think the true spirit of Christmas actually goes a lot deeper than that.
After several years of emotionally painful Christmas seasons that left me struggling to even enjoy the season anymore I finally started to come to a realization of the difference between understanding and knowing the meaning of Christmas and why we celebrate verses understanding and living out the true spirit of it all. Between losing loved ones, losing my health, a marriage falling apart, two sons who were found to have serious special needs, and my desperate cry and need to find a way to overcome it all I slowly but surely started turning the corner around the surface of the meaning of Christmas and started truly sinking my heart into the spirit of it.
First of all I think it's having the willingness to still trust Him and cling to His promises and love even when everything around you is falling apart and you feel like you're dying inside. To look at that manger scene sitting on your table or mantel and see more than a bunch of figurines that testify about your faith, but actually being moved to silent wonder as you gently pick up that little baby boy and let the realization of what Christ has done sink into your heart and start to heal you from the inside out.
Second of all I think it's when we let that hope, love, faith, and healing effect us so deeply that we start to spread it on to those around us. Family, friends, neighbors. Strangers we pass on the streets, store clerks and cashiers we meet at the market places and malls.
To me the true spirit of Christmas is to go beyond the knowledge and the faith and let the love, hope, and healing that Christ brings sink so deep into our hearts that it permeates us to the bottom of our very souls. To let it consume us to the point that we can't help but spread it on to every person we meet. Infusing the world with more hope and love one heart at a time, just like that precious baby boy did the night He was born in Bethlehem. That's the true spirit of Christmas in my opinion. :)