Getting In the Christmas Spirit


This is not a preachy, holier-than-thou post where we’ll talk about how people need to focus more on the real meaning of Christmas and less on the superficial. It’s not about whether people have forgotten what Christmas means or how it began or why it’s so important. It’s about something much simpler.  It’s about a tweet that I read on Twitter.

The tweet itself was nothing out of the ordinary, I’ve probably read 75 others that said something similar.  It was not super-spiritual. In fact, quite the opposite. It was just a regular tweet – important to the tweeter, I expect, but nothing monumental or life changing. At least not on the surface anyway.

This timely twittered tweet referred to being in the Christmas spirit.

Big deal, right? You probably hear a reference to being in the Christmas spirit made at least 5 times a day. But this time the phrase caused me think,

“What do we mean by being in the Christmas spirit, anyway?”

Are we talking about giving? About decorations? About the vague excitement generated by those who profit from it’s existence? Has the phrase lost it’s meaning altogether and become only a catch phrase that is used commercially in order to get people to buy more stuff?

“Catch the Christmas spirit! Buy a new flat screen tv for 30% off the regular price!”

“Drive away in one of our cars and spread the Christmas spirit across town!”

“Give her the gift of love. Give her the Christmas spirit. Give her a diamond.”

Is that really what being in the Christmas spirit is about? Has our paradigm shifted that much?

I guess it may actually boil down to all the things I said this post wasn’t about in the first place. Except the preachy and the holier-than-thou parts, of course. But all the rest of that stuff is actually really important and it’s ok to talk about. Just because we want to keep Christ at the center of Christmas does not mean we want to do away with the holiday celebration. If you like shopping on Black Friday, great! I just hope you don’t do it with a bottle of mace in one hand. If you have a shopping list as long as the Christmas lights strung across the front of your house, good for you! Just don’t charge it all and end up paying for it through next Christmas. If the decorations in your front yard would make even Chevy Chase jealous, do your thing, guy! We may even bring the kids by to look at them….

The point is to be sure and keep Christ as the focal point. If we can manage to do that, we will find that we will enjoy the Christmas season much more because it releases us from the pressure to compete.

Today, I want to hear from you. What do you feel being in the “Christmas spirit” means? What’s it all about? Write one word or a whole paragraph, whatever works for you!

5 thoughts on “Getting In the Christmas Spirit

  1. Christmas spirit shouldn’t just be reserved for the month of Dec, it should be a year around thing. Since it is all about Jesus 🙂
    Although, I understand that the pressures of Dec 25 cause a lot of stress and the “bah humbug” attitude…I guess thats when we really need the Spirit of God to rule in our heart and keep us focused on what the day is all about….

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    1. You’re right! The whole “atmosphere” that we think should surround Christmas is the exact one we really should be displaying every day. It definitely does take Jesus to make that happen though. Thanks!

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  2. I have to tell you we went through some real soul searching on this topic when we spent our first Christmas in Paraguay. It was about 115* and there was no A/C and it just felt wrong.

    That led me to wonder why. I think the reason was because our version of Christmas was a product of the U.S. and the media. We blended in a heavy mix of church and God in there but it wasn’t the real spirit of Christmas. We are still learning what Christmas in the DEEP SOUTH means.

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    1. I can imagine how different it must be for you down there. I’ve always associated Christmas with cold weather, snow, etc, so even living in South Carolina has been different for me. Are the Christmas views/traditions a lot different in Paraguay?

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