The Spirit of the Season
By Daryl L. Meyers
Though family traditions and cultural differences vary, Christmas is still observed by many as a time for remembering those special moments and special people who bring joy and meaning to our lives. It’s a celebration that has its beginnings in the past, yet shapes the present. Over the centuries it has established itself deep within the psyche of our western world. Through pageantry, poetry and song we are reminded once again of a humble birth and an extraordinary life that has influenced the course of nations for centuries.
As with Christmases past, this time of year gives us an opportunity to back away from the routine, from our professions, our responsibilities, our cares and concerns, and know again the love and warmth of family and friends. Though brief, in a sense Christmas transcends time. We enter a landscape overflowing with sights and sounds, both mysterious and magical. Suddenly we’re children again, dancing and playing, singing and laughing, carefree and alive.
Although this is the experience shared by many, for others the story, unfortunately is different. For those who wrestle with addictions, chronic illnesses, separation, divorce, memories of friends or relatives who have passed away, or whose lives have been touched by loss in other ways, the holidays can be very difficult.
To be more sensitive to those whose loneliness and suffering is intensified during the holidays is just as much “in the spirit of the season” as anything else we might celebrate or be involved in.
To share a smile, a handshake, a tear, a hug; to reach out in love and understanding to those who know nothing but sadness and despair, who feel depressed, abandoned, lost, is to bring a new dimension of meaning to the holiday season.
By bringing hope and healing to those in need, we enrich their lives and our own. If allowed, the gift of love – the spirit of giving – could very well turn holidays into “holy days.”