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During the Christmas season, we all have Christmas spirit. We love more strongly, give more readily and forgive more quickly. Why is it so hard for us to remain in that spirit year-round?
In order to re-create that spirit, first we must get to the root of it. When we break down the words “Christmas spirit,” two topics that jump out are “Christ” and “spirit.”
I define Christmas spirit as being more Christ-like. He is that perfect model of that spirit. His love is never ceasing, he sacrificed his life for us, and he forgives us if we but ask.
The trick is finding out how to remain in that spirit. There is something about Christmas that makes us feel closer to Christ. Whether it is the Christmas carols, attending Mass more frequently or spending time with family, we all have something that helps us mirror Christ’s love during the holidays.
For me, it is the reminder that he lived among us. He became human to teach us how to live. I see this reminder in the Nativity scene.
When I see the Nativity and the Christ Child, I am able to feel Mary’s love for Jesus just as much as I love my own child.
So how can I keep the spirit after I have packed my Nativity? Who says I need to pack it? I am not saying that you need to leave your decorations out year-round, but maybe find a substitute.
If Christmas carols are your reminder, then try listening to Christian music or Catholic radio. If it is attending Mass more often, then you can attend an extra Mass or two during the week.
If you are visual like me, maybe put a picture of the Nativity or the Sacred Heart of Jesus in your home. If the spirit comes from spending time with family then incorporate a Bible study or family rosary once a week. These are all small changes that we can commit to doing.
In Scripture, we read, “No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us” (1 Jn 4:12).
We are here to love. The spirit of Christ is a loving one. As the New Year continues, let us all make a resolution to remain in the Christmas spirit during 2012.
(Joanie Nobbe is a member of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Enochsburg.) †