AND Celebrate the Spirit of Christmas

December 25th, 2016

As the last entry for 2016, this week’s invitation is to reflect on the power of the message and intention behind words. Our most recent election has left many deflated, angry, or scared by the rhetoric of the winner. AND this week is Christmas. How might we offer a gift of reconciliation, celebration, and kindness to all as a healing step and a reminder to look beyond the words?

The words that stand out for me are “Spirit of Christmas.” At the same time as Christians are celebrating Christmas, Jews are celebrating Hanukkah. Regardless of the name of the holiday you celebrate, there is a spirit of the season that is the true source of celebration and inspiration.

While the politically correct Happy Holidays is used quite a lot today, I often find it empty. The spirit behind the goal of not offending another by naming the holiday we celebrate often causes us to forget the actual present we wish to share with others. So, I am reflecting on what Christmas means to me and what I wish to offer my Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and non-believing friends this season when I say Merry Christmas.

Christmas for me is a time of reflection on humble beginnings and great Light. It is a time of gifts in all forms and love shared by family and strangers alike. It is a time of kindness, giving, and sharing. It is a time of new birth and openness to finding peace, joy, and wisdom in simple everyday ways.

It is a time of recognizing that we often don’t recognize presents in our world because we are expecting them to arrive in a different form than they do. It is a time of celebration and hope for the world we might create together when we stand in light and love. AND merry is a reminder to find what brings us joy, collectively and individually, and to make that the focus of our attention, to look for the good, find it, share it, and extend it.

And so, I offer the spirit, the intention, of Christmas, when I say to all my readers,

Merry Christmas to All

Peace on earth AND

Goodwill to people everywhere

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