Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Christmas "Spirit"

As I was driving along this morning running some errands, listening to the Christmas music in my car, and huddled in my coat with the heater on full blast it suddenly felt like Christmas. I instantly began thinking of all my friends who I've heard say recently "I just don't feel like decorating yet because I'm not in the Christmas spirit". Some indicated it was not time for Christmas yet while others just didn't "feel" it. I began musing on this and the thought crossed my mind--what is the Christmas "spirit" anyway?

When you think about Christmas and "feeling" what immediately comes to your mind? Mine thinks of the nativity, family, friends, yummy foods, and a general contentment and happiness. I suddenly realized why people might not be feeling in the mood. If you are missing some of these things can it be harder to feel in the "mood"? Why do we need these things to be in the mood? I think it's because the Christmas spirit depends on the attitude of your heart, and a CHOICE. Sure those things are going to make it EASIER to feel in the mood but they are not NECESSARY.

This is not to attack any of my friends who don't feel like Christmas right now but I decided that personally for me, if I sit around moping and pouting, and dwelling on my current situation I certainly wouldn't feel like Christmas. I have to make the choice to think about this time of year and what it means to me as a Christian. Does this mean that I'm "happy" and suddenly all is right in my world? Heck no! My situation is unfortunately still the same and probably won't change a bit through the holidays. I can however make a choice to dwell on the meaning of Christmas, what God has done for me, and have the joy of the Lord anyway. Just like sometimes we have to choose to be grateful at Thanksgiving, and choose to dwell on the good things we have and what God HAS blessed us with and NOT the things that are going wrong in our lives.

So I guess my challenge to you is this--if you are being a "Scrooge", scowling at everyone who tries to wish you a Merry Christmas and refusing to acknowledge the time of year just think about the real reason for the season. News flash! It's not about YOU anyway. :-) It's the time of year we celebrate Jesus' birthday, so think to yourself how you'd feel if it was your birthday and everyone walked around with their head to the ground whining "I don't feel like it's your birthday, I don't want to celebrate it right now". Attitudes are infectious and easily spread. If you choose to have the right attitude it will help others around you to do the same. If you choose to be depressed that same depression will dampen everyone around you. I'm not saying you have to pretend that your trials don't exist. It's about your RESPONSE to the trials.

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil 4:8



Julitx said...

Great post, Megan. Did you fix the comment problem or am I just special? =-)

Megan said...

I fixed it. :-D

Forrest said...

I'm with you Megan. I guess I'm in the Non-festive crowd too. Things in life change, don't they? Reminds me of some scripture...

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; (I don't know about the dance part!)

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

And yes, thank God for His eternal promise:

Hebrews 13:8 "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever."

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Paula said...

I'm trying to stay in the Christmas Spirit all year long! It ain't so easy, but I AM trying. Christmas blessings to you and the entire crew!!