The true Christmas spirit is not in the size of the gift, the amount of food, the clothes you wear that night, but in the value you place on the gift that God has given you.
The traditional festivals arrive and, with them, a considerable increase in stress and depression in thousands of people. According to the Uruguayan Society of Psychiatry, in Uruguay during these traditional festivals, at least five out of ten people suffer from a depression disorder. That’s right: while for some people it is a time of celebration and hubbub, for others it is a time of sadness and anguish.
Taking care of purchases, attending family and social commitments, participating in the end of the year farewell meetings in the work environment, facing exhaustion and end of the year saturation, can be synonymous with feeling stressed or depressed if not you face with a different vision.
Do you remember the Grinch, the furry curmudgeon who can’t stand Christmas and wants to sabotage it? Don’t let the Grinch sing you a blues this December, because the Savior was born for you.
The true Christmas spirit is not in the size of the gift, the amount of food, the clothes you wear that night, or the number of people sitting around your table. The original meaning of Christmas is in the value you give to the gift that God has given you.
Secular humanism and commercialism have done their best to eliminate God from these festivals. Look around you: from the chubby boy dressed in red, the sweet bread, the nougat, the walnuts and hazelnuts, the little tree and the sledges, to promoting thousands of offers so you can spend your Christmas gift in a single night.
Do not think that I am a bitter person who does not like to celebrate, none of that, I simply invite you to think that these are details, not the essentials of Christmas. The true Christmas spirit begins with avoiding putting your eyes and your heart on things that rob you of the essentiality of the celebration and for this I share these tips:
1. Activities that unite the family
It is the festival of joy because it is the festival of faith and love that comes to life, so it is an ideal time to enjoy together as a family making decorations for the home. Perhaps they can make Christmas decorations, Christmas cards, and wrapping paper from materials they have around the house. Remember that on the Internet you have several videos that can help you with some very creative ideas, without spending a lot of money.
2. Nothing like giving service
Christmas is the feast of God’s love, and it is a beautiful occasion to live solidarity. Think of a family in the neighborhood that is in need and prepare a basket with your family with basic foods and gifts so that they can celebrate a worthy Christmas. May this Christmas come wrapped in concrete gifts of service actions and concrete samples of love for others. Dare to make a difference.
3. The best way to come to Christ
Assemble the manger as a family and take advantage of this moment to read the passages of the Bible related to this special event (Matthew 1: 18-25, Luke 2: 1-20). Perhaps telling a short story about each of the characters that are part of the story can help the little ones to better understand what happened.
4. Home service
Place a paper pine near the manger and a box with self-adhesive stars (if possible, make them a different color for each member of the family) so that they stick one to each star, once a good deed is done. At Christmas Eve dinner, ask each member of your family to share their feelings and emotions about it.
5. Join whoever shares your ideals
Go to church as a family and renew your faith. The songs, hymns, Christmas carols and the liturgy in general are an invitation to the spirit to renew faith and passion to live Christian values. If you have been estranged from your faith, perhaps there is no more propitious occasion to return to the arms of God, who awaits you with longing.
6. Express gratitude
Before dinner, take time as a family to pray and thank God for this very special moment. It is a beautiful moment to contemplate in front of the manger that they have built together, what God allows us to discover there: a message of love, unity and simplicity.
If you follow these tips, I guarantee that, even if the advertising and the loudspeakers proclaim a commercial Christmas, you can experience the true spirit of this holiday as a family, which God has given you.
If you want more ideas to enrich this season, I invite you to read: What to remove and what to add to keep the Christmas spirit alive