So much has been written about the Holiday Season, and this year I decided to deeply ponder and think about what the Christmas spirit means to me. There are the decorations, and I love to decorate our home, the parties, get-togethers, and giving and receiving. But what is the deeper meaning of the Holiday Spirit?
I was raised as a Catholic, my mother’s birthday was on Christmas Eve, and our customs were deeply influenced by religion. During my childhood, most of our Christmas activities were related to the church and charities. When my mother died, I was a teenager, Christmas became a harrowing time for me, filled with sorrow and a deep feeling of loss. As a young adult, I started studying metaphysics and philosophy, and with time I was able to enjoy Christmas again. I no longer had to travel to places in the world where Christmas wasn’t celebrated, although I once met a Santa Clause on a camel in North Africa, and a blond, curly-headed Santa in India.
During my various introspections and meditations this year, which focused on the meaning of Christmas, I realized the deep meaning of this holiday, and I want to share it with you.
Christmas is about unconditional love, and looking at the nativity scene, it became evident to me. There is a woman, a man, and a baby, surrounded by shepherds, representing the general population, the three wise men, portraying the elite of different ethnic backgrounds, animals, which we should respect and treat kindly, and a star in the sky showing that this birth of love is unconditional, universal and available to all. Mary and Joseph make us aware of rejection and judgment when the innkeeper didn’t let them stay in the inn and sent them to a stable. But love was not eliminated by this cruel and insensitive treatment, and the birth of Jesus symbolizes that all is good as long as there is love. No judgment or criticism can change this. We can bury this message, but we cannot eliminate it. The bright star will go on shining.
This message of love doesn’t have to be limited to Christianity. It is open to everyone – look at the wise men! It is universal, and we can include it in our lives if we wish. It also is not limited in time, and we can make it a permanent part of our life. I have decided to include unconditional love into my daily life, and when a struggle comes my way, I’ll recall this bright star and the love it symbolizes. As it guided the wise men, it will guide me as well.
Wishing you an uplifting and fulfilling Holiday Season.