Reflections on the Meaning of Christmas



I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.

~Charles Dickens~

What usually comes to mind as Christmas nears? Before we have a chance to think about it, ads bombard us from all directions, encouraging us to buy everything under the sun. We must wade through all the commercial trappings to get to the spiritual aspects of Christmas.

Christmas is about a birthday, that of Jesus. To some people, Jesus is the Son of God, part of the Trinity which constitutes God. To others, he was a good man who brought some new ideas about how to live peacefully with each other. To still others, Jesus is irrelevant to their daily lives.

Regardless of our beliefs, I think we can all agree that a baby named Jesus was born about 2000 years ago. The birth of any baby is truly a miracle. The study of embryology shows us the thousands of steps which must take place successfully in order for a fertilized egg to become a living, breathing baby.

If you know someone who has a baby and you visit the baby on two occasions a week apart, you will be amazed at the changes that have taken place between your two visits. The baby who once stared unresponsively learns to smile, roll over, wave, clap hands, stand and eventually communicate with you.

Holding a newborn baby brings us a sense of awe and a reverence for life rather than allowing us to take life for granted. It is a reminder of how far we have come since emerging from the womb. A baby’s innocence reminds us that we can look at things around us in a fresh way, no matter how jaded we have become over the years.

Babies hold great promise for the world. Alexander the Great, Churchill, Michelangelo, Mozart and Shakespeare all started out as babies. Who could tell, looking at any of them as babies, what their lives would hold? What do you think your parents imagined for you when you were born? If you have children, what did you imagine for them?

Sometimes we think we only have one chance in life. We feel trapped by how our parents raised us, how we have allowed ourselves to become mired down by our mistakes or by how others have treated us. We sometimes dwell on our physical or mental limitations or those imposed by poor health. Somehow, it seems easier to think about what we can’t do than about what we can do. I remember the story of a woman who had no arms but became an excellent office manager and private secretary using her toes. Sometimes our limitations point us toward our capabilities or ways of doing things.

What does all this have to do with Christmas? We have a chance to be reborn with Jesus, not just on Christmas but every day. What if we woke up tomorrow morning with none of the old thinking which keeps us from trying something new? What might we be able to do if we did not let our negative thinking hold us back?  Would you like to try it?


Life Lab Lessons

  • Remember your own birthday.
  • What dreams do you think your parents had for you?
  • What dreams did you have as a child?
  • Start a new phase of your life today.
  • Try to live in peace with everyone you meet.

From Commonsense Wisdom for Everyday Life

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