Season’s Greetings all! Wow it’s been a busy year here at 3A English, and we’re looking forward to some BIG changes in the New Year. We’ve gotten into the Christmas spirit and are ready to kick back with our families this holiday… but wait, what exactly is the Spirit of Christmas? Well, the Spirit of the Season can mean different things to different people.
There is no real “traditional” historic way of celebrating Christmas. Early Christians in the Roman Empire paid little attention to it as a religious holiday. The true date of Christ’s birth is not known. The principal Christian feast was (and still is) Easter. Evidence indicates that Jesus Christ was actually born in the summer. Many historians believe the Church chose Dec. 25 because the winter solstice (Dec. 21) had been observed for thousands of years, and it coincided with Saturnalia (A pagan festival).
There has been much strife around the holiday, and American Pilgrims would neither have understood nor approved the way we now celebrate Christmas, in church or out!
A Meaning of the Christmas Spirit
Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” may have truly created our current concept of Christmas. This showed it as a time of love, hope, charity, and good cheer. The spirit was both secular and religious.
In the story, Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner who warns him of the coming of three spirits. They force him to confront his miserly ways and open his heart. If there is anyone who does not embody the alleged Christmas spirit, it is truly Scrooge. One of these spirits, The Ghost of Christmas Present, is a A jolly, happy, generous spirit.
He takes Scrooge around town and shows him that both the wealthy and the poor are sharing and being grateful for whatever they have, looking for merriment in each other’s company, regardless of their means. The Ghost of Christmas Present bears a resemblance to St. Nicholas, who is the physical embodiment of Christmas spirit- Santa Claus.
Another form of Christmas spirit exists in the forms of Christmas decorations. Lights and evergreens in our homes drive away the things associated with the colder, longer days that mark the end of the growing season.
On the darkest of days, people wish for light. As the days grow shorter and colder, people’s thoughts turn to warmth, life, and light. Light drives away the darkness and symbolizes hope and new beginnings. Lights create a beacon for others who are out in the dark and cold, and implies generosity and charity.
Taken together, the lessons from these examples are powerful. We have a moral watchman, the embodiment of good cheer, a gift giver, and symbols of safety and home. They provide strong guidelines on how to behave in a specific context, which in this case is the holiday season.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings… or however you wish to spread cheer this time of year!
Together in learning (and celebrating),
The 3A English Team