The Christmas Spirit
What is the Christmas spirit to you? I think the answers would be as varied as the people who answered. For some the festive atmosphere in all the shops says “Christmas” while for others the simple nativity instills that feeling of celebration. A beautifully decorated home or volunteering at a homeless shelter might invite that spirit for still others.
This week as I was preparing to head to my parents’ for the holidays, I got the thought to go visit an older man in my church congregation. I was friends with his wife who passed away a few years ago, and I have checked in on him periodically over the years. This year I have sent notes but not visited because he is in his 80s. So I put a small gift on his doorstep, knocked on the door, and stood far back from the door. When the door opened, he looked pleased to see the gift but more pleased for the company. He invited me in despite my objections for his safety. I agreed and we sat (appropriately distanced) and visited for a while. The thing he said more than once was how lonely he has been this year. He has missed his wife, he is struggling with poor health (related to aging), and is facing leaving his home in the near future to live with a daughter. He needed a visit the day I stopped by. I count myself lucky that I got to be the one to visit.
At the beginning of the year I put this image on my tablet to help remind me to remember the Savior more. I especially like it because I feel like He is beckoning me to join Him on His journey.
This year the Christmas spirit has come over and over as I have made connections with people – sometimes just a quick word on a porch or a text exchange – sometimes a more heartfelt conversation. I’ve thought often of Christ’s command to “Love one another, as I have loved you …” (John 13:34) this month. In the face of all the 2020 tumult I have found the Spirit of Christmas as I have tried to follow the Master in this small way.