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Remember the true meaning of Christmas

Posted: December 22, 2011 1:17 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” –Calvin Coolidge

The Christmas trees blink white or colored lights, with ornaments and other holiday trinkets on sell nearby leaving the feeling that the holiday season has made its appearance once again. What’s the problem with this image within the aisles of the department stores?

It’s October.

In today’s world, the Christmas season seems to have stretched its arms beyond the borders of the month of December becoming a finish line that takes months of preparation to reach. The holidays were once a time of leisure where individuals slowed down to spend quality time with family and reflect on the Biblical origins of that first night of Christmas in a stable in the small town of Bethlehem. Nowadays, it’s become a race.

Black Friday deals, “buying more and saving more,” has wrought the minds of fellow holiday shoppers bustling through stores. But the idea that many of these shoppers cannot find in the coupon section of the paper: that the greatest gift of Christmas ever given wasn’t wrapped in holiday festive gift paper, but instead was wrapped with swaddling clothes. This present has lasted through the centuries and keeps on giving in the form a sentiment within ourselves that then becomes our choice on whether to act upon or not.

The spirit of Christmas cannot be purchased for any price, but can be given in an unlimited amount of quantity. Taking a moment to wish the bell ringer for the Salvation Army a “Merry Christmas,” giving up an afternoon to volunteer at the local soup kitchen, giving a toy for Toys for Tots, the available opportunities and ways to spread great gifts of joy, love and hope can be empowering for all. One cannot use the phrase “I do not have enough of (insert excuse here)” with this gift because it doesn’t have a price attached and the supply never runs out.

The Christmas spirit can become more than a tradition in December, but also a state of mind acted upon throughout the whole year. The season of giving isn’t just indicative to December. It can develop into a daily choice to give back in both small and big ways becoming so ingrained in our daily conduct, it turn into a part of who we are, that’s spread to everyone we encounter.

So as you hit the ground running this holiday season with bargains on the latest toys, family gatherings, or visits to see Santa and more keep the idea of the never-ending gift in your hearts. Give this December away in ways that cannot be wrapped in paper and tied with a ribbon, and that last long after the Christmas boxes are put back into the attic.

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