Should I call this the “Spirit of Christmas” or the “Grouch Who Ruined Christmas”, that was my dilemma, and I knew the title I chose would determine the direction I wandered, so I decided on the positive and sided with the former. Why this would be a dilemma is a personal story, which I will get to, but first things first. Why am I even writing this blog? I guess the answer is two fold (like my dilemma on what to call it) and I was hoping to make sense of where Christmas Spirit comes from and why sometimes you can witness a total void of Christmas Spirit in a person. Perhaps these two questions are connected.

It is certain that Christmas Spirit means different things to different people, and have an individual perspective on it. I am wondering on where it comes from and why sometimes it seems not to be there at all. Is it something from deep inside (the heart), something you can search for and find, or perhaps even inspired by God? Is it something you can bring out in another person or does it come from inside? What is the true nature of its origin inside us and how does that dynamic play out every year at Christmas time? Hmmm, I don’t know!

I have three stories to tell :

Story A: It’s 2003, a good year and I was just realizing success in my life. A woman I loved walked away for reasons I will never really know now. My house, which I bought  that year, was empty of furniture, but full of promise. I bought a Christmas tree in December, set it up, decorated it as best I could, but it looked sparse and sadly uninspiring. It fit in with the empty surroundings, but I felt something more – A Christmas Spirit? I had an inspiration that year and filled my tree with photographs of my life. I visited my family in NH too and felt content.

Story B: It’s 2007, a striding year and I was just realizing my potential. My mother died that year in September. I was devastated. I traveled to Germany shortly after this to meet my girlfriends family. I had met her in 2004, shortly after Story A in 2003. Despite this, she treated me quite badly on Christmas day that year. She wanted a Ring I guess and didn’t get it, so took her anger out on me. She said cruel things to me I won’t repeat. My first Christmas without my Mom, still grieving, and I got something I didn’t expect, from someone who supposedly loved me, on Christmas Day. I eventually did get her a ring the following year, but she didn’t seem to want it then and eventually returned it to me.

Story C: It’s 2011, a year when for the first time in a while I feel really good about who I am again. There is no woman in my life for a couple years now. I don’t worry about who I have to please, whether I turn left or right, and just feel at peace. I feel like Lazarus, risen from the dead, or a Phoenix reborn. The Christmas spirit just came upon me this year like a Full Force Gale, as Van Morrison did sing about. I have become somewhat religious this year, not in traditional practicing ways, but in general spiritual ways. I am logical, but I feel something stirring. Inspiration, power of a something higher, I don’t really know.

 

I am not getting all religious, but I feel good. I have no Christmas decorations this year, no artifice to inspire me, but I feel better than I have in 20 years maybe. So, I began to wonder where this Christmas Spirit was coming from in me. It’s not an evolution so much, and is more a transformation I think. I have not perfected, but perhaps have refined the essence of my life and what is important to me. While this may sound self-centered, it is not, and I can see how life is a chain reaction, form one moment to the next.

Which brings me back to “Christmas Spirit”. I don’t necessarily understand story ABC in specific, exacting ways, but I do know every story has a tale to tell in our life. Why some people feel the Christmas spirit may be closely related to an inner center that reaches outward. What the source of this is I do not know. I say again: Is it something from deep inside (the heart), something you can search for and find, or perhaps even inspired by God? What is the true nature of its origin inside us? Maybe it matters, maybe not.

I am still bothered sometimes by story B, and she never did apologize for it, but I have forgiven her, if only for myself. Her heart was closed and she did not know the damage she did that day. I still wonder what happened to her Christmas Spirit. Granted she is German and they celebrate on Christmas Eve, but for me Christmas Day is more important. I always had a spirit for her celebration, until she disrespected mine. But that was many years ago now and it doesn’t hurt so much anymore I guess. I have not answered the question I posed, but was just exploring it. Maybe it’s just this – Christmas Spirit comes from wherever you let it (inside or outside) – if your heart is open. I end with a song that reminds me on this:

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