Friday, 13 December 2013

Christmas Spirit

Christmas Spirit

I have been thinking about Christmas Spirit lately. Probably because my husband, Paul, said the other night that he was not looking forward to Christmas, that he could do without it, that all it meant to the kids was requests for what they wanted. Granted we have three teenagers each, so the requests for 'stuff' are out there, with no magic or fluffy Santa stuff. What I really want to know is....has he lost the Christmas Spirit? And, what exactly is do you define Christmas Spirit?

I asked my family and friends this question and the general consensus is that Christmas Spirit is something that we find within ourselves (our heart) that enables us to show gratitude towards, and caring of, others. It allows us to be more giving of ourselves, to believe in magic, to have faith and to appreciate our families. It is about the giving, and not the receiving (this obviously did not come from my kids) of presents. Christmas Spirit is the antithesis of 'bah humbug' Scrooge and his disbelief in all things Christmas.

Putting the religious aspect aside (ie. the celebration of the birth of Christ), shouldn't we be finding this Christmas Spirit within ourselves every day? I know plenty of people that do, and unfortunately, far too many people that will never find it. It's a choice isn't it? Like mindfulness, one needs to be aware of the fact, and actually notice, that they should be a giving and caring person, and not self-centred...I know at times that I don't always see, or am aware of,  those in need (outside of my family) because I am busy working and raising my kids. It's not because I don't care, on the contrary, I do.

Someone (not sure where I read it) wrote that there is less Christmas Spirit now, that this generation is lacking in it. The unknown writer is on Paul's side, and maybe there is something in that. I know that when I was a kid, you never asked for anything for Christmas. There were no lists and my parents would have been offended if you asked for anything. It was okay to whisper it to Santa but my parents never knew...and rarely delivered my wish...but that was okay. I wondered at the motorbikes that my cousins got when we got Barbie dolls and books, and thought that I must have been a bad kid to not warrant such extravagance. It's a hard thing to explain as a parent.

However, aside from the above, what I want to share is the Christmas Spirit that I have felt and seen in Gympie lately. There are some amazing people and groups here who embrace and embody exactly what I feel the Christmas Spirit should be (or look like):

Gympie Library Donate a Book

The Gympie Regional Library assisted the Salvation Army with their appeal to donate books to kids for Christmas. Over one hundred books were donated to children in need.

Adopt a Family
Many businesses in Gympie (including my office) donated presents to an adopted family instead of doing a Secret Santa or Kris Kringle.

J Smith and Sons Christmas Appeal

This showing of Christmas Spirit just floors me. A local business employing 67 staff closed it's doors two weeks ago after fifty-plus years in business. The staff were left without pay before Christmas. So what do the amazing people of Gympie do? They organise an appeal to help the families out. Priceless.

The Victory Church organise food hampers worth over $100 to families in need for just $25 over Christmas. No family should do without Christmas dinner. They also organise a lunch on Christmas day where the pastors also attend.

These are just a few examples of Christmas Spirit...the giving, sharing, caring...that I have seen in my home town. Are you humbled by Christmas Spirit?

What does it mean to you?

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