The definitive sights and sounds of Christmas have all but arrived in transit to enhance our annual feel-good event of the year. Every window in every street has slowly been decorated with excessively ornamented festive trees, whilst every shop in every mall plays the same old Christmas jingle - with the hope that weary customers may buy just one more item from their brazenly stocked shelves. In reality, it’s not difficult to see why so many of us dread this iconic time of the year.
Superstores are always mobbed from the moment they open till the second they close. Roads are normally jam-packed with traffic going nowhere fast. Pubs and restaurants are usually bursting at the seams with overindulgent revellers from the reckless confines of the ‘Christmas Night-Out Brigade’. And to top all that - you will rarely ever find anything decent to watch on television!
But hang on a minute! If what I’ve just mentioned is true - that Christmas is nothing but hassle and grief for most of us, then why do we all put up with it year after year? Well, the answer is very simple - because ‘The Spirit of Christmas’ is with us all. Christmas means so much to many people in so many ways. Christians look upon Christmas as a way of celebrating their faith in God in a way that confirms their belief in the good of mankind. Others prefer to just appreciate the wonder of this time of year in their own special way.
The spirit of Christmas is ultimately a force that brings like-minded souls together. The fact that so many people choose to travel great distances just to be with their friends and families at this time of year pays homage to the true spirit of Christmas. The further exchanging of gifts is but a way of expressing this spirit in true traditional fashion. Yet, for so many people, Christmas may rekindle the largely upsetting memory of someone dear who passed to spirit at this time of year. Nevertheless, this sadness can be ably comforted by the warmth of a father’s welcoming hug; the aromatic aroma from a mother’s freshly cooked turkey; the mesmerising sound of a child’s laughter as the first gift is unwrapped; the welcome arrival of a daughter’s greetings card bringing love from afar; the considerate invitation from a dear friend to spend Christmas day with their family, or perhaps just a simple, genuine smile from a passing stranger who happens to appreciate the unique sentiments of this special time of year.
Christmas is indeed a wonderful time of year when that special bonding between friends and families creates a truly magical feeling of goodwill. It matters not where you may spend Christmas, it’s far more important who you spend it with. And as we celebrate this great occasion amongst the people we love and cherish, please spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves who may be spending this festive period alone. Let us hope that they feel the presence of the spirit world draw close to their heart, for those in spirit will never let anyone sit alone.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Christmas & a very exciting New Year. David.
© David Shaw 2014