Perhaps one of the most beloved holidays here in America (and indeed throughout much of the World) is that of Christmas. This is a holiday rich in tradition that varies depending on your family, religion, and ethnic cultural heritage. It’s not just Christmas that we celebrate at this time of year, but among other celebrations around this time includes New Years, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and the Winter Solstice.
Many Celebrations in Decembers
Christmas can be considered both a religious holiday and a secular holiday. From a secular standpoint, Christmas occurs on the 25th of December and is a time of gift giving and family gathering. It is a time of laughter and joy and of sharing and creating loving memories with those that are important to us.
From a religious viewpoint, in the Christian tradition Christmas (December 25th) is about the coming and birth of Jesus. The four weeks prior to Christmas begins the Advent season (roughly December 2nd to the 23rd). Advent is about the preparation for the birth of Jesus. It focuses on looking forward to the Son of God being born and the hope that goes along with the arriving of the Messiah.
New Years and New Year’s Eve, (Jan 1st and December 31st) are part of a secular holiday, they are about preparing for the year ahead. The focus is on releasing and remembering the past year and embracing and being thankful for the new. Many people make “new year resolutions” in hopes that those resolutions will be accomplished or held up to in the year to come.
Hanukah is a Jewish holiday. It celebrates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. It is observed for eight nights and days and is also referred to as the Festival of Lights. The Talmud explains that the Temple was purified during this time and the wicks of the menorah burned for eight days despite the fact there was only enough oil for one.
Kwanzaa is a celebration which honors African heritage. It celebrates seven principles of African heritage which are unity, self-determination, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. Many who celebrate Kwanzaa also celebrate Christmas.
The Winter Solstice, (roughly December 21st) is a pagan and neopagan holiday. It is sometimes better known as Yule. It often has gatherings and gift giving attached to it as well as fire and lights, but it also focuses strongly on the theme of rebirth, especially as it is associated with the horned hunter god. It is the day with the shortest period of light or the longest night of the year. Some pagans wait up all night for the sun to rise the following day in celebration of the rebirth of the sun/hunter god.
The True Meaning of These Celebrations
I want to step away from all religious tones for a moment, however. I don’t want us to get caught up on if we should or shouldn’t be saying Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. What I want us to do instead is to focus on something much more important and deeper – the feeling of Christmas and of these holidays that occur around this time of the year.
In metaphysics, we acknowledge that both feelings and thoughts are very important. The feelings and thoughts we have now, the feelings and thoughts we had yesterday, and even the feelings and thoughts we will choose to have in the future all impact our life and the life of the mass consciousness.
The Holiday season is about a specific set of feelings and thoughts.
The feelings of awe, amazement, joy, reverence, sacrifice, eagerness, gratitude, love, helping, coziness, and blessing all combine together to create what is more commonly known as the emotional feeling of the Christmas Spirit or The Christ spirit.
The thoughts of unity, harmony, peace, hope, responsibility, cooperation, and rebirth all work together to form the mental attitude of the Christmas Spirit or The Christ spirit.
In metaphysical theology, it is believed that the spirit of Christ is within each of us. That is, it is available to those who choose to open up to and embrace it. You may sometimes hear this called Christ consciousness.
This spirit doesn’t have to be part of our lives for only one day or even one month. In fact, metaphysical theology would say it should be part of our life consistently and constantly. It would say that this spirit should be a part of ourselves that we attempt to reflect upon and live up to daily. In fact, when we live out the Christ spirit consciously in a daily manner we are working with the Universe (God), and never against it. We are empowering both ourselves, others, and mass consciousness to be and experience the absolute best that can be.
So when others try to pull you out of your Christ spirit at any time simply smile and continue on as you had been. Bless those people, send them love, but keep your own focus on what you can do next to continue to set your own personal Ego aside and instead allow the spiritual essence of Christmas to move through your heart, mind, and soul and use you to the best of your abilities.
Don’t let the commercialism of Christmas weigh your soul down or cause you to enter into a worry or panic. Christmas isn’t about what gift you’re going to buy or get, but it’s about the gift of spirit moving through you and being experienced and expressed by you. It’s about love and creativity and it – like Thanksgiving, is about gratitude and thanksgiving.
An Exercise in Embracing Christ Consciousness
Many years ago I would buy Christmas cards.
I would randomly choose names from the phonebook, address the envelopes, write a Christmas blessing in the card, and then send the Card anonymously. To this day I still don’t know if the people got their cards and/or how they reacted to those mysterious cards being sent. But I don’t care. The purpose of sending the cards wasn’t to get a reaction, but it was to remind everyone that miracles are still alive and well in our world. That someone they didn’t even know cared enough to send a card with a personalized message wishing them the best for the year to come.
Just imagine what would happen if people did this daily? Send random messages of hope and love to other people and each other?
This is my Christmas challenge to you. This is my Christ Consciousness Exercise for you to engage in.
No, not sending random Christmas cards – but rather taking the time to tell someone you know who you haven’t spoken to often or even someone that you have spoken to in a while – perhaps ever – how much they mean to you and what you have learned from them.
Give them a positive uplifting message with no concern about how they will respond or even if they will respond.
See what happens to you and your life through the process of doing this. I’m willing to wager you might be pleasantly surprised.
Just think, if you can do this you are one step closer to allowing the spirit of Christmas to flow through you – and that spirit is one step closer to actually changing the world – something everyone seems to want, but few people have a concrete idea about what steps to take to actually go about doing it.
You see, if you want to change the world you don’t need to actually change, help, or influence the entire world. All you have to do is help or influence just one other person.
~Rev. John Culbertson