I love Christmas time. The whole month of December, I anticipate the holidays like Ralphie in the movie “The Christmas Story” awaits his gift of an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Air Rifle.
It doesn’t take much for the seasonal spirit to grab hold of me as I take in the decorations, music and holiday parties. But there are those other more meaningful things that lift my spirit higher and move me in ways I can’t describe.
Many articles in this week’s publication are prime examples of that joyful and giving spirit of Christmas. Articles such as the Festival of Tree event at Windham Hill UCC, the Live Nativity Scene at Windham Christian Academy and the “Stuff the Bus” hosted by Windham Lions Club are all instances of the true meaning of Christmas in action.
The “true meaning of Christmas” is a sentence uttered often this time of year and, although individuals might differ slightly on the interpretation of the word “true”, most of us would agree that bringing love, peace and joy into the world would be a part of that definition.
One description from an 1889 article of The American Magazine explains the true meaning as this: "to give up one's very self - to think only of others - how to bring the greatest happiness to others - that is the true meaning of Christmas."
For the most part, I think we (all of us in America and beyond) understand this explanation and execute it well. That is, until January 1.
In this week’s On The Spot question, we asked our readers, “What do you wish you knew more about?” My response would be: I would like to know why love, joy, goodwill and generosity that we experience this time of year stop after the holidays.
I guess we will never know the answer, but the one thought that comes to mind is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
I was hoping for an easier answer. I guess Gandhi’s wisdom imparted over 60 years ago still applies today when you wish things to be a certain way.
I’m not exactly sure I, alone, can carry out the lofty idealism of spreading joy and goodwill to all - all year long, but I can certainly try to do better than I did this past year. Instead of pointing out the fact that the true meaning of Christmas seems to stop when we hit the new year, I can be the one to make it continue. To the best of my ability. If I don’t do so well in 2018, maybe I’ll do slightly better the following year. But I might do better if you can join me.