For many, the business of the season can detract from the blessings of the season. Between Advent and personal preparations for Christmas, “to-do” lists fill up with tasks that lead to feelings of distractedness and disconnection from the true meaning of Christmas.
That said, in these tasks which seemingly distract us from the meaning of Christmas, there is joy to be found - and in that joy we can connect with the Spirit of Christmas.
When we look at the business of Christmas, it is easy to gloss over the many blessing of the season and to let this draw us away from the meaning of the season.
When we take the time to appreciate our Christmas tasks, however, we see that the business of Christmas is an opportunity to connect with our loved ones such as family and friends in a way that brings us all closer to God.
The traditions we look forward to, the food we indulge in, the getting together with family and friends are all blessings which bring jubilation to our hearts. When looked upon as blessings, build anticipation and excitement during Advent and breathe the Christmas Spirit into our hearts.
The blessing that help us connect with the meaning of Christmas
Every family has its own Christmas traditions. Whether that be decorating the tree together while Christmas Carols play, stringing up an elaborate display of Christmas lights on your front lawn, volunteering to work in a soup kitchen or heading out into your neighborhood together to serenade your neighbors with Christmas Carols, these little traditions are a staple and something to look forward to every year.
Familial Christmas traditions are also a way for you to reconnect with, and grow closer to, your family and the people who are most important to you. In Christmas tradition, there is also excitement, togetherness and joy - all of which are a part of the true meaning of Christmas.
When we think of Christmas, one of the first things we might associate with the celebration of the season is food. Christmas celebrations are marked by traditional Christmas feasts which, depending upon your nationality and background, might include turkey, lasagna, seafood or any other manner of Christmas fair - be it traditional or otherwise.
While the food we indulge in on Christmas isn’t what the meaning of Christmas is all about, it is an opportunity to be grateful.
Christmas feasts are also analogous to the nourishment of our spirit. Just as our bodies need feeding, our spiritual hunger needs feeding as well. It is God’s desire that we do and have what is best for us - and this includes physical and spiritual sustenance and nourishment. Christmas is the perfect opportunity to feast in both ways.
A favourite prayer before a meal such as the one on Christmas is: For what we are about to receive, may the Lord make us truly thankful.
Family, friends and togetherness
Christmas is a time to get together with those who are most near and dear to you. Whether you and your loved ones gather for a feast, or whatever Christmas tradition brings you and those you hold dearest together, Christmas is a time of sharing, talking, listening and engaging in meaningful conversation.
The people we are lucky enough to have in our lives are blessings. Recognising these blessings helps us to connect with the Spirit of Christmas and the meaning of the season.
Our faith at Christmas
As Christmas draws nearer, we light the candles of the Advent wreath. This is how we mark the time as we prepare for the birth of Jesus Christ. The lighting of the Advent wreath is a tradition which symbolises our patient preparation for Christmas. The candles we light symbolise the presence of God while the garland is a symbol of eternal life. These are traditions and symbols which help us connect with the true meaning of Christmas.
Just as the symbols of our faith keep the meaning of Christmas at the forefront of our hearts and minds, so too do our Christmas traditions, our feasts and the time we spend with family and friends.
Christmas feasts, the sparkle of Christmas lights, the beauty of a decorated Christmas tree and time we spend with those who are near and dear to us all provide moments of joy which serve to connect us with a loving God during this Advent and Christmas season.