“Christmas isn’t just a day; it’s a frame of mind.”
– Kris Kringle, Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
On this last Sunday before Christmas, I wanted to find a quote to really capture the importance of it. I can hardly ask for better than something from Santa Claus himself about how the day itself is a token of something far greater and more pivotal.
I wonder if the world has always seemed to become more and more jaded, cynical, harsh, and selfish in the eyes of adults as they grow older. Or maybe the great, rapid changes of the last century or two have made it so. Before then, I imagine things seemed to stay largely the same, with change behaving more like some lumbering beast: inexorable, but slow. Now we have an ever increasing – and arguable ever more manic – pace of change in almost every aspect of life. Technologies and medicines come out faster and faster, with an endless craving for the latest toy, which is not necessarily the best toy. Ideas of the self, of relationships, of society itself are shouted across the internet in a great, thundering tumult that stretches across the entire world. Something new emerges and within five minutes people forget that it hasn’t always been there and they want more, more, and more change of everything.
Sometimes it gets confusing and depressing, and it’s always very, very loud.
Christmas, I have always felt, is a touchstone for our souls. The heart of it may be lately buried in the wrapping of “I want,” but it remains a call to give and love freely, as did the one whose birth it honors.
Christmas is a time of family, of remembering the importance of spending time together, and the joy to be found therein.
Christmas is a time of charity, of helping our neighbors, including all of our fellow humans, in a spirit of unreserved love.
Christmas is a time of forgiving and change, of doing better by those we love, of healing old grudges and rebuilding burnt bridges.
Christmas is a time of peace, of taking time out of our hectic lives and our hectic world, to slow down and enjoy our time in life.
These are all things which, surely, can only benefit us and our world if we practice them throughout the entire year. To internalize these concepts and apply them to our lives every day can only bring us a greater measure of joy.
Joy to us, and joy to the world.
And on that note, I say…
Merry Christmas! 🙂