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Let Yourself Go

The excesses common during the Christmas season—too many gifts, too much partying, traveling great distances to see family members—are part of this traditional license common to festivals, especially, as we’ll see, those festivals associated with the solstices. It’s tempting to judge ourselves and others for going too far, but it might be more in the spirit of the season to find it in ourselves to allow such excesses. The whole idea is to drop some of the limitations that we usually bring to serious areas of life and be free momentarily of their weight.

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A Celebration of the Jesus Vision

People usually think of Christmas as a traditional and sentimental festival, but not as a celebration of the Jesus vision it commemorates: a philosophy of profound reform. The child lying in the manger would become perhaps the most radical of all spiritual visionaries, showing how to live more joyfully and communally. Many people today feel an underlying anxiety due to world events and the challenges of getting along in a complicated world. Christmas allows a break from that gray depression, an inner darkness reflected in the winter sky. 

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Christmas stockings and tree

The True Spirit of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas can be meaningless and maddening, especially if you don’t have access to its deep layers of history and symbolism. You may feel frantic looking for gifts, rather than understanding that gift-giving is a way of being in family, friendship, and community.

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