“He who has not Christmas in his heart
will never find it under a tree.”
~Roy L. Smith,
(from Joy to the World, 2003; Hallmark Books)
While we check our light strings for working lights, and gather cookie-making recipes, and confirm event dates, and dress children for concerts and plays, let’s not forgot to look for the Christmas spirit in its most important place–our hearts. With everything going on this time of year, it can be easy to be checking externally for signs of the holiday, but we should be mostly concerned with the signs within.
What is the Christmas spirit, anyway? I posed this question to my daughter when she was ten years old. I asked her, “If you could capture the Christmas spirit on little pieces of paper, and tuck them into a bottle to last all year …how would you define the Christmas spirit?”
She said, “What are you talking about Mom?”
I tried again. “If someone were to ask you, ‘what does the Christmas spirit mean,’ how would you answer?” First she said “Bah, humbug.” Then she started laughing, saying she was just kidding. She went on to answer: “It is about giving to other people more than to yourself.”
“The Christmas spirit is being jolly and remembering all the things to be jolly for.”
“The Christmas spirit is about getting excited, and having belief, and magic, and faith.”
“The Christmas spirit is about having everybody available in your family together… except if it is a really big outdoor dog.”
“The Christmas spirit means, even when you don’t get what you want, you’re still grateful for what you did get.” She paused thoughtfully. “I don’t think I’ve ever had that happen, but if you don’t get what you want, don’t start yelling at the person, as they
tried their best.”
So, what is the Christmas spirit? It is all of those things Samantha came up with and more. The themes underlying all of her statements are gratitude, caring for another, taking time to be present with one another, giving of ourselves, expecting, and believing, and receiving magic.
Your Turn: Today, take a moment to bring the Christmas spirit alive in your household. Ask each family member, over dinner, to define the Christmas spirit. Then post their answers on your refrigerator as your personal family-reminder of what this season is all about.
Today’s Affirmation: I cherish and nurture the spirit of Christmas within my heart.
Your Two Cents: Your feedback is what motivates me to create the Good Morning. Share your thoughts and browse my archives by clicking here.
And as always, don’t forget to start your day with a heartfelt: “Something great is going to happen today… I can’t wait to see what it is!”
And when ending your day ask yourself: “What is one more thing I can do to make today matter?”