What Is Chrismas Spirit About

What Is Christmas Spirit About

You among many others might be wondering what is Christmas spirit about? It seems that there are so many people today only concentrate on the gifts, food and fighting to whom Christmas celebration actually belongs to.

There has been so much arguing about Christmas the last years. The weeks heading up for Christmas are really getting on my nerves. People are slacking off each other,  sharing memes such as this:

Christmas meme

It has become politically incorrect to say merry Christmas, because not everyone celebrates this holiday and at the same time it has become the Christians way of waving a card in front of others saying: Christmas is my holiday, not yours.

But let’s examine the celebration of Christmas closer for a moment. How did Christmas come to be? What is the message of Christmas and what is Christmas spirit about?

What Is The History Of Christmas?

Before Christmas day 25th of December become a celebration of Jesus’ birthday around 273 AD, it already had a long tradition in Europe, with it’s own traditions and customs.

Yule Man

Why was this particular day selected? Well, the early Christians wanted to eradicate the old religions in the places they converted into Christianity and one of the way doing so, was taking an old celebration and simply giving it a new meaning. There is no evidence to indicate that Jesus was actually in fact born on this particular day.

Yule, was a 12 day celebration for the winter solstice, day when the days start to get longer, before it became the Christian Christmas.

Yule man is still known in some of the Nordic countries and he was the feared spirit of the forest, Odin or some other God depending on the local tradition. He was the  bearer of the gifts, riding on a goat.

Christmas was long time celebrated as a drunken festival, which was based on eating and drinking alcohol. In fact it was so unchristian that is was banned in US and England in the 17th century  by the puritans. Only during the 19th century did Christmas once again become a popular celebration.

However some pagan traditions stayed and they have not much to do with Jesus’ birth, although some are linked to early Christianity.

Christmas Food

As with any celebration, it’s traditional to have plenty of food and drink available. Food varies from country to country and region to region, but remains more rich and varied that food enjoyed at other times throughout the year.

Christmas Tree

The modern Christmas tree is traced to Germany, where Tannenbaum was brought into the house as part of the Lutheran Christmas tradition around the 16th century. It was decorated with edible things such as apples, gingerbread and toffee.

It is often thought that the Christmas tree had it’s traditions in the winter rites, as both the Vikings and Saxon worshiped trees, especially the ever greens, which never lost their green color during the winter months.

Santa Claus and Presents

Saint Nicholas

Santa Claus is modeled after a Spanish or Turkish bishop, depending on the legend, turned into catholic saint Saint Nicholas, who was famous for giving gifts and sweets to children.  In a lot of countries Saint Nicholas is celebrated on the 6th of December and this is the day children will receive their gifts.

In other countries Santa Claus, who variably lives on the Polar Pole or in Finnish Lapland, has replaced this tradition, and he bears the presents either on 24th of 25th depending on the local tradition.

Names

In the Nordic countries the whole Christmas still carries the name yul, or jul, indicating it’s origins in the pagan customs. Additionally the Saint Nicholas tradition never took off and the Santa Claus is still called with the name of Yule man (Christmas man).

Yule Log

In France you still enjoy a traditional bakery during the Christmas called Yule Log (Christmas log), in other countries this is a particular log of wood, burned in the fire place for the Christmas celebrations.

What Is The Message Of Christmas?

According to the Christian religion, Christmas is the celebration of Jesus Christ the savior. He was born to Maria and Josef, in a barn in Nasareth on Christmas eve. This birth was marked by a Christmas star and everything was witnessed by angels and herders.

Jesus and Maria

Three wise men followed the star and visited Jesus and his parents bearing gifts. This what it says in the Bible, the holy book of Christians. And this is why Christians say they exchange gifts, in some countries gifts are exclusive traded on three kings day.

The same message is repeated in some forms in the corresponding holy books of various other religions. Muslims and Latter Day Saints also recognize Christmas as the birth day of Jesus.

What does this teach us about the message of Christmas? According to the Bible, Jesus was born, because God loved us so much, he sent his only son to Earth, so we could find forgiveness and peace for our sins. He gave us the ultimate gift on Christmas.

Does this means we should fight among each other about who Christmas belongs to? I don’t think so. I always thought the message of Christmas was that of hope, faith and pure, unconditional love!

 

Hope Love Faith

What Is The Christmas Spirit About?

We can donate or we can help by sharing the information about what is really happening in the world and donating money where it is really needed? Wouldn’t this display the spirit of Christmas better?

How about instead we started sharing pictures and memes on social media depicting the faces of children that go hungry, so we start to think how important it is to redistribute the food resources on this planet more evenly.

I don’t only mean the children in Africa or Asia or war ridden countries, but even in your own communities. There are children who’s growth and learning is inhibited by lack of nutrition.

Give food to children, they are our hope for future. Here is a good place to start: Unicef

Feed The Hungry

How about helping the Sioux tribe, who are bravely fighting in the middle of snowstorms for the right of clean water for their tribe and millions of other people living in the downstream of a river, which is about to be polluted by the Dakota Access Pipeline?

Or in general taking a stand on any of the environmental issues, this planet is facing? I have written an article about everything that is near to my heart, you can read it here: How To Protect Earth

 

Defend The Sacret

One of the most important things that comes to my mind, are all the people suffering in the war zones. They homes are being destroyed and they have nowhere to go. Nobody wants more refugees, because of inherit problems with clashing of Western and Eastern cultures.

The children who lost their parents, the people who lost their homes, the hospitals that are out of supplies and markets that are empty of food and warm clothing for the winter. Schools that have no more teachers and materials. How about we send them the spirit of Christmas to help out what we can? Unicef Emergencies – Syria

Syrian Children

For me this is what Christmas spirit is truly about! Not fighting amongst ourselves whether Christmas is only a Christian holiday and others shouldn’t celebrate it, or worrying about offending someone how we send them greetings during this special time.

 

Christ In Christmas

How about instead of sending memes like this, indicating we are somehow better than others and more entitled to the message of Christmas than others, because of our faith. we truly send the spirit of Christmas around the world:

Peace on Earth, Love, Understanding and  Compassion!

Christmas should be full of warmth, laughter, happiness and joy. It should be time for giving and serving, time of remembering those who suffer in silence and help those in need of your assistance.

Here is a good start, listen to it and think about it. I hope you will find it in your heart to agree with me and send the Christmas spirit to everyone despite their religion!

One of the traditions I keep onto at Christmas is to make a wish to the Christmas star. This Christmas my wish is that you find it in yourselves to stop fighting and find a way to peace:

Go and make someone happy this Christmas!

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Let me know your favorite place or cause to send some spirit of Christmas to!

Love and Christmas Spirit,

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38 thoughts on “What Is Christmas Spirit About”

  1. Hi there,

    I really enjoyed this post about Christmas. It’s not too often you see people writing articles about the true meaning of Christmas and it’s origin.

    Before now I have never seen or read the origin of the yule log and that is a quite an interesting story.

    I wish there were more times of enjoyment and sharing like this time of year. The donations that people are able to pull together are just short of a miracle.

    If we could find time and money to do this all year long then we would not have starving people in the world.

    This is a wonderful article thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi David, happy you enjoyed my post about Christmas spirit! I am always very happy to examine things properly and found out about their origins as I find people are often misinformed and very set in their opinions. Yule log is a Nordic tradition, I have always known about its origins since I come from Finland and additionally lived in Denmark for a long time.
      I think the true spirit of Christmas is in sharing the love, food and the wealth among everyone! I agree it should not only be about Christmas though, but these activities should be continued a year around. I am a great believer that all the wealth should be more evenly distributed!

  2. Hi Mira,

    Thank you for your interesting post and its great to know more about the history of Christmas and for sharing your ideas and incites around this holiday, for me I see Christmas as a great opportunity to freely share my love and gratitude for my friends and family (and anyone) and more and more I see I can do this on any day.

    Best Jay

    1. Hi Jay you are welcome. That’s a really great take on Christmas. Sharing love and caring is what Christmas spirit is all about and actually trying to bring more into every day, even after the holidays sounds like a great mission 🙂 Keep it up!

  3. What a wonderful and insightful essay on the spirit of Christmas! Although I am not a devotee of any one religion, I like what is purported to be the teachings of Jesus – to be kind to one another and accepting of the differences between people and cultures. Several cultures held festivals at the end of the harvest. Saturnalia is the Roman pagan celebration that honors Saturn, the god of agriculture, from Dec 17 to Dec 25. This is the holiday Christians morphed into Christmas, hoping to convert pagans.

    I am really saddened by the commercialization of Christmas. Retailers are putting out Christmas stuff before Halloween! Your message is one of hope, love and giving. Giving food to the hungry is a greater gift than giving unnecessary things to those that already have plenty. As my mother used to say, “the best things in life aren’t things.”

    Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Hi Lauren, first of all, thank you for your insightful comment, I always love it when people spend time on crafting a response showing they enjoyed what I wrote 🙂 You are right what it comes to the teachings of Jesus, it is the message of love and peace to people despite their background and position in life.
      You are right about Romans, it’s one of those many festivals in Europe that Christmas replaced, although not as widely spread as the 12 day winter solstice festival in most of the Europe. Many cultures had pagan festivals and rituals, early Christians liked to give those parties new meaning, because they couldn’t get people stopped with the celebrations. Quite clever in fact, it’s like saying: OK we will let you party, but you need to now recognize this as the new reason for your party. What bothers me is that some people have forgotten the pagan roots of Christmas and believe it only belongs to Christians.
      Commercializing the Christmas is something that gets the hairs in my neck stand. I can’t stand the thought of all the wasted resources and not necessary gifts people spend their money on. Instead I believe the spirit of Christmas should be that of giving and helping for those less fortunate than ourselves.
      Merry Christmas to you Lauren!

  4. Very details and apparently well-researched article.

    I watched the whole music video, One Direction, Rita Ora and all the celebrities gathered to make this great video!

    I’m Muslim and some Muslims celebrate Christmas while other don’t

    Thanks for sharing this post, your articles are unique and informative!

    1. Hi Anis, thank you for your comment 🙂 I’m happy you enjoyed the song, it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs and it brings a very important message across. Yes, a have a lot of Muslim friends who recognize Jesus as one of the prophets and celebrate Christmas as his birthday. I believe it’s a great celebration and belongs to the world, not only to Christians.

  5. Religious does have it fair share of propaganda. Religious especially the Abrahamic ones seem to seperate each and everyone of us. Christian, Jews and Muslims all share the same god but respectively they all think that they are special in the eye of God.

    Christmas should be shared worldwide and that is the fun of Christmas

    1. Hi Arthur, thank you for your comment. I agree that too many religious people look down at others or try to convert them to their way of thinking, sometimes even forcibly, when in fact we should rejoice in our differences. Christmas is a wonderful celebration and should be shared with everyone.

  6. Thank you for sharing an OBJECTIVE view of Christmas and what the Christmas spirit should be about. I’ve had a friend that doesn’t celebrate Christmas because of the “pagan” bad origins of Christmas. I feel bad for him because I personally love the Christmas spirit of celebrating Jesus birth and giving to others.

    Merry Christmas to you.

    1. Hi Sonda, thank you for your comment. There are a lot of people, who feel they cannot or do not want to celebrate Christmas due to their beliefs. This is something we need to accept and let the ones who want to celebrate follow their customs and hearts. I am happy that you believe giving to others is part of Christmas spirit!

  7. 25 of december is the “birthday” of our Sun because of the winter solstice, all religions has this date as birthday of their profet, it’s more antique than we can imagine. Food and drinking were allways part of a ritual, and the tree was a symbol for “the Gods”… In fact all you are saying is true, ad if you seek a little deeper you ll find what i’m saying. Christmas has nothing to do with Christ, but not everyone can understand this. Now we all can give it meaning we want.. we’ll celebrate it because brings joy into our homes.

    1. Hi Roxen, yes 21st of December is winter solstice. You are right, many other profets were born on this particular day, I am not sure what did you feel that I somehow held the fact that Christians celebrate it as Jesus’ birthday more important than any other reasons? I am a big believer that this is a right for everyone to believe and celebrate Christmas and in fact any other celebration, according to their traditions and beliefs.
      The spirit of Christmas calls for peace on Earth among all beings despite nationality or religion.

  8. Hi Art By Heart!

    This is a very nice message. I think some people have forgotten what the real message is behind Christmas and what it stands for. I am really tired of all this politically correct nonsense.

    In Malaysia we live in a multi-cultural society and everyone gets along with each other. Why can’t other countries follow suit? I really despair for humanity sometimes.

    Oh, I know all about Jul since I lived in Norway for a few years, especially the Jul Øl which is the Christmas beer! I was fascinated to try Jul Øl for the first time. We don’t see that in the UK and certainly not in Asia.

    Have a very merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

    1. Hi Craig, lovely to read the thoughts on this from one of my most loyal followers 🙂 I am glad you bring Malaysia as an example! In fact I just had a conversation with someone about the fact that in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, the Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and many others live in peace with each other and non-believers!
      I wish everyone would reflect on this message on Christmas! I send your family my warm regards for Christmas and New Year!

  9. Hi,
    I have really enjoyed reading your post “What is Christmas spirit about” very interesting how you explain how it came about that it is celebrated on the 25 th of December, never thought about that before, but when you come to think about it, would shephards really be guarding sheep in the middle of the winter out in the fields? The sheep would probably be penned up safely somewhere. Anyway I don’t think the veracity of the Bible story is your point I get it and like a lot of people am tired of the over commercialisation and greed of the festival.
    I agree with you that Christmas should be a time of reflection and thanks giving for the blessings that we have received , like the love and comfort of having our families around us, and to think of others in many parts of this world who are suffering due to wars, poverty, illness and to try in our own way to help those less fortunate than us, this is “What Christmas Spirit is all About.
    Sending you Christmas Blessings.
    Ken

    1. Hi Ken, I am happy my article got you thinking. You are right, I am by no means stating that Christians shouldn’t celebrate the Jesus’ birthday on 25th of December, by all means. Since there is no real record when this happened, we cannot be sure of the date. I have to point out though that in Israel the chances in seasons are different from US and Europe and even though it’s colder in December than summer time, there is no snow or frost.
      My point is that we should let everyone celebrate Christmas according to their beliefs and also instead of spending massive sums of money on food and presents, we should spend some time giving to those in need and helping the ones in need of our assistance. I wish everyone reading this article will reflect on that.
      I am sending you and yours some true Christmas spirit!

  10. I am not a huge christmas fan, but if I wanted someone to know what it is all about, this is where I would send them. Seems like a lot of work and research got put into this post. Thank you for that.

    1. Hi Brent, I am happy you found value in my article, it is written from the sense of respecting the different reasons to celebrate Christmas.

  11. Very informative. We tend to forget the origin/birth of things as the ages past. There should be no arguments but peace on Christmas time.

    1. Hi Shiva, thank you. This piece was very important to me personally. Peace on earth is what we should be aiming for, always, but especially during the celebrations.

  12. You hit a nail in the head. I hate this ‘Christmas is a birthday of Jesus’ stuff. It’s not, a pagan holiday turned Christian. Learn your history people. I just gave money to the sacret, thank you for reminding me of this being the most important current issue for this planet we call our home. Happy Christmas.

    1. Hi Julie, I think we should respect everyone’s reasons to celebrate Christmas, even if we don’t agree with their beliefs. I am happy you gave money for this extremely important cause. Happy Christmas!

  13. I love Christmas because the whole season is so different (obviously) to other times of the year, and because we are Christians, it is even more special because of being together celebrating the most important event. Jesus’s birthday!
    Our special family tradition is to sit together and pray, then read the story in the bible before the food and presents.
    But it does sometimes cause friction in the family with other non-believers!

    1. Hi Emma, thank you for your comment. I’m happy you enjoy Christmas, it is special for me too, because I get to spend time with friends and family. Everyone has they traditions for the celebration, important is that we respect everyones way of celebrating according to their customs and beliefs. Merry Christmas 🙂

  14. There is an awesome message in this post. I was also shocked that Christmas celebrations got a little out of hand a few hundred years back. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays!

    1. Hi Kyle, you are welcome. Christmas has not always been as holy as some people like to think. In my opinion Christmas means different things to different people and this should be OK with everyone. Happy holidays!

  15. Dear Hanna
    I agree with you that we should think how people celebate Christmas. It is horrible how much they are buing material, food and alcohol for Christmas.
    I like to be in forest with my loving husband , my children and grandchildren near our Dad in heaven. I like to thank Him about taking care of us. I need only silence and peace in Christmastime.
    I wish you and your family Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. <3

    1. Thank you Inka. We should not need to spend all that money on presents, which are not going to make us happy anyway. I am happy for my family’s tradition to give a lot of handmade gifts to each other. Simple things in life, such as happiness and love are for free! Merry Christmas and happy new year. <3

  16. I agree; I think this time of year is not about showing who’s way in the best way in celebrating the holiday season. This time of year, I think, would benefit people if they look to it as time of reflection and being even more motivated to act positively in the world. Absolutely agree!

    1. Hi Dawn! I am happy you agree with me. Reflecting on things i as always good and I truly believe we should attempt to bring peace and prosperity to all during this celebration, instead of arguments and disapprovements!

  17. My family is devote Catholics and always argue about how Christmas is purely a Christian holiday and can’t understand how anyone else can/should celebrate it. I will show them this article. Thank you very much for sharing this. Merry Christmas, may your message spread far!

    1. Hi Jamie, yes, many Christians belief this. I think it’s important to spread the message of Christmas’ origins as I don’t believe anyone should feel they are the only group of people entitled to it.

  18. This is a very good article, stopping all the arguments about who owns Christmas. The Christians are somehow so arrogant in their thinking that Christmas celebration is only for them and only about Jesus. I’m happy someone dares to write something different.
    I also agree, that Christmas should be about giving and helping others! I’m sending you all at ArtByHeart.biz some awesome Christmas spirit!

    1. Hi Liam, there should be no argument about who Christmas belongs to. It’s a celebration like all the others, some want to give it their own meaning, which is jut fine. If we learn to give to the ones in need, we have understood what Christmas spirit is really about!

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