The Spirit of Christmas

Our family celebrates Christmas. For me, it is the time of year when spirit is strongest. 

I remember my mother, who instilled my love of music and the arts, gone now for eleven years.

I think of my Father, my coach, and mentor, gone now for nearly ten years. 

I think of my Grandmother, who was always glad to see me and told me so,

… and of Grams, MJ’s mom who gave her to us.

I think of our children. This will be the first Christmas our family won’t be together.

The Holiday season is full of emotions. Many, but not all are positive. There is something about holiday lights, a carol, a meal, or a tradition that unites us in spirit, across distance and time.

Spirit leads us to love, which is its purpose and home. We feel this at Christmastime.

It doesn’t seem that long ago when excited children woke us too early to open presents on Christmas morning. In recent years, our extended family sleeps over on Christmas eve. On Christmas morning, we have a leisurely brunch, light a fire in the fireplace, and gather around the tree to pass out presents, taking turns opening them one by one. 

A while back, we started a new tradition, Beatles music.

I know it’s strange, but Bryan got me the “Love” album for Christmas in 2006. It’s a “mash-up” of sound clips from Beatles songs produced for the popular Cirque du Soleil show of the same name. When I opened the gift, I immediately put it on the stereo. It drew everyone in. We stopped opening presents, and listened to the entire CD! Somehow that became a tradition!

No doubt, you have unique family traditions as well!

After “Silent Night” is sung on Christmas eve, Christian ministers throughout the nation invite their congregations to go out and live the “spirit of Christmas” the whole year through!

That’s a great idea, but hard to do. 

Why is spirit so strong at Christmas?

While not meant as a rhetorical question, here’s my take on it:

The Christmas season is crazy busy. But, when Christmas Eve finally arrives, we stop, set busyness aside, and allow each other to become the focal point, sharing a common center of Christmas. 

The Christian faith is grounded in “The Trilogy.” Fr. Richard Rohr has a beautiful description of it in his book “The Divine Dance,” I paraphrase his words:

“In the beginning, there was relationship; we exist only in relationship,….and an infinite current of love streamed without ceasing, to and fro, to and fro, and to and fro,…..we are invited to participate in a divine inclusion, an eternal dance, of which love is the center.”

Merry Christmas!

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Fundamental Principle: Bringing mind, body, and spirit into balance.

A Question To Consider: When is spirit most alive for you? 

More information including background principles, suggested reading, and a library of previous posts can be found at http://tim-coats.com

2 Replies to “The Spirit of Christmas”

  1. Love your words this week. Spirit may be strongest at Christmas but along with Spirit comes the strength of tradition. Plans are changed and sacrifices made in order to honor tradition. Breaking tradition can cause anxiety and stress unless we can stop and remember the why the tradition was important in the first place. When it comes to Christmas those traditions are centered around love and remembering love.

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  2. We devote enormous energy to recalling the past and anticipating the future: celebrating what was, imagining what may or may not take place. Perhaps it is time we open the present and embrace whatever we find as the gift it truly is. Thank you, Tim, for the journey expressed in your weekly blog, for the steps we will take together in the days to come, but mostly for the focus you bring to the present moment.

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