Source: Negative Space/stocksnap
For the most fortunate, Christmas is a time for gratitude, celebration, and spiritual renewal. Loved ones gather and share beautiful rituals. But it may be helpful to those whose year was visited by loss and hardship to view this time of year through a different lens. No one knows with certainty when Jesus Christ was born and many of the rituals associated with the celebration of his birth preceded him. Late December was a time recognized by the Aztecs, the Romans, the German Tribes, and old England as a time to lift the human spirit from the darkness of winter or the hardships that have been endured. The German tribes lit candles that they placed on evergreen trees. The Romans decorated their homes with wreaths and mistletoe. The Aztecs feasted on a turkey, the English ate mince pie. Sound familiar?
So many cultures saw this time of year as the beginning of the end of a season, a time for hope and renewal, a time to grieve losses and to plan for a Spring not only in the season but in our future, our opportunities.
One more thought about the holiday. This is a celebration of Christ’s birthday, not ours. For many, this is a time for giving to those less fortunate, a time for volunteering or contributing to those in need. This may be the very finest way to live the Christmas Spirit.