Christmas is a special time of year, for most people, as it brings up memories of tastes, aromas, sights, and of course the pleasure of giving to one’s loved ones and friends and seeing the happiness on their faces.
For some people, this will unfortunately not be a special time of year, because of recent loss, or perhaps due to bad memories of Christmases of the past.
Whether one’s memories are good or bad, we ought to resolve to make this year a special one for those we love — and it’s not through the presents we give (although they could help) but through the time one spends with loved ones, investing in their lives and demonstrating the love you have for them.
Christmas spirit is that indefinable feeling of goodwill that one hears about in Christmas movies and cartoons; what it ought to be is seeking out “peace on earth and good will among all people”, as was announced on that first Christmas on a Judean hillside so long ago.
Granted, not everyone believes in that story of the first Christmas, but even so, the wish for “peace on earth” is a universal hope on our planet; Canada is blessed to be a land of peace and opportunity, but there are many countries that know nothing of peace, and its residents live in constant fear of the violence that fill their streets. Sometimes Canada is a haven of refuge for people from these countries as they seek to find a new life and better opportunities for their children to take advantage of as they establish their own lives.
In a way, Canada has helped provide help and hope to people in lands like the Philippines as we’ve sent our Armed Forces abroad to lend a hand to people in need, and sometimes we’ve needed to help out our own residents or those in the U.S., when they’re hit by floods or tornadoes, and there’s massive property destruction.
So how does that relate to us, here and now? To quote a well-known song about peace, “let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.” In other words, peace on earth starts at home with how we show patience, love and forgiveness to those we love and cherish.
As we spend time with our loved ones and strive to make new memories of Christmas that will last, that is where the true “spirit of Christmas” manifests itself, and is then shown in people’s lives throughout the year, spreading out from families to the community at large