Amidst the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season, there’s always one question which remains timeless – “does the true Christmas spirit live in you?”
Sure, this is very simple but the simplicity of the question makes us tend to forget about it most of the time. We busy ourselves with the material and superficial element, making Christmas more of a commercial event than a spiritual season as it is supposed to be. We prepare food, decorations, and gifts but do we prepare our hearts and soul?
True, we all know that true Christmas spirit is for giving and sharing but we often overlook this truth when faced with the usual gift giving, parties, and the like. We certainly give and share but often with the thought of receiving a gift in return as well. The real sense of giving and sharing is doing it for people who are unable to reciprocate the act.
With the recent tragedies which befell the nation just a few days before Christmas (typhoon Sendong for one), let’s take advantage of an opportune occasion to give and share. Not that we needed mishaps like these to awaken the true Christmas spirit, but since it already happened (no point to do the blame game) we may as well start sharing and giving to our poor countrymen who were devastated by the typhoon Sendong’s havoc. Should you be interested and if you haven’t donated any yet, here’s how:
We don’t even need catastrophic events like these to have the urge to give and share. We would rather not have anyone go through catastrophic occurrences just to have the opportunity to relive the Christmas spirit. Oh no! It is unnecessary. We can extend a helping hand even to our own circle of families, friends, relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and everyone else we know.
My family has been celebrating Christmas for the past few years with an extra food on the table. We have been serving Noche Buena with a buffet open house pre-Christmas dinner, after midnight snack, and Christmas morning breakfast for everyone who wants to drop by. We don’t even need to invite anyone. They just know and freely dine with us.
We’re no rich folks but we’ve been doing this for more than five years now, both for Christmas and New Year. It started through a friend of my older sister’s finances. She is married to an Iglesia ni Cristo husband and have missed Christmas since her marriage. She can’t celebrate Christmas, not even with her husband in the U.S. because she lives with the husband’s whole clan who are all members of INC. So she celebrates the holiday season with us, cooking food enough to feed a whole village.
I don’t want to have any religious inputs here as I don’t have any religious affiliations myself. I simply believe that it’s better to have a personal relationship with God rather than participate in any traditional religious practices that are often shallow, pointless, and even idolatrous or paganic in nature. There is not even any historical proof that Christmas is really Christ’s birth. We just know that it’s a Catholic tradition which has roots among Roman pagans. Pagans in this case are anyone not of the Catholic faith at that time. Just read this for more information about the Real Story of Christmas.
Going back to my sister’s friend, she left for the U.S. before last year’s holiday but we’ve kept the tradition she started in our tiny little barrio. In fact, all birthday parties of family members are often celebrated at home with food and games for children. We have tried to live the spirit of Christmas through free food and parties not only during Christmas but all year round. Here are some photos taken and uploaded after such events:
There are other ways and means to live the true Christmas spirit besides these. Anyone one of us who are a little better off than others can be creative enough to think of opportunities to help and show love even in the most trivial ways. The people who dine with us are not poor folks. Some of them partake of whatever food there is on our table sometimes for the sake camaraderie, which is also another manifestation of the real Christmas spirit.
I’m sure there are plenty of other options where we can live the spirit of Christmas, not only during the season itself but all throughout the year. Just think of ways where you can share something, give anything, and show love in anyway. So with the New Year coming up in a few more days, I hope all of us can positively answer the age old question, “does the true Christmas spirit live in you?”