What Christmas means to me?

by Sally Scott, Manager, Perth WA

Christmas is a tradition for many. On the Google search engine it says that some 2 billion people celebrate Christmas worldwide. So I asked myself, what is it that people believe they are celebrating? We have public holidays for it, concerts, huge shopping sales around this time of year, businesses shut down to give their employees time off, families plan holidays and get-togethers, there is usually large amounts of food prepared and eaten, alcohol is consumed, houses are decorated with coloured lights and ornaments, some make and decorate gingerbread houses, and for some it is the time of the year (the only time of the year) they visit a church or participate in religious services or ceremonies.

Looking at the Wikipedia definition of Christmas, I am told that it is an annual commemoration of the birth of Jesus and a widely observed holiday, celebrated generally on the 25th December by millions of people around the world. Now I do not claim to be an expert on the Bible, but is Christmas mentioned anywhere in the Bible? There is mention of Jesus’ birth, but I couldn’t find any record in the Bible referring to anyone observing Christmas.

I have considered the customs associated with Christmas, and there are many, as countries and families tend to develop their own traditions. Wikipedia, as cited above, has a clear definition of the meaning of Christmas. So what do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus or the meaning of Christmas?

Let me share my experience of this time of year based on where I work, live and my family and friends.

Within my work environment people seem to be very busy and getting very tired. There is a perceived belief that time is running out – the year is ending and yet there is much to complete. There is an added pressure to all of this because our social calendars get busier and there is little time for rest or relaxation. We eat more, we drink more, or more often, and we get less sleep because we are out celebrating. In the industry I work in it is a busy time of year. Domestic violence increases, maybe because alcohol consumption increases, there are more clients with suicidal tendencies or ideations, homelessness becomes more of an issue as services shut down to celebrate Christmas, providing a festive meal for a family is a burden not a joy, giving gifts to children brings pressure and strain rather than merriment and laughter.

I work with clients who are beaten and abused this time of year or have past trauma triggered. The couple of days before Christmas our service was dealing with a family whose daughter had been murdered; putting in safety plans for the public holidays with clients who were suicidal; asking the state child protection unit to follow-up with a family as we had safety concerns for a young child and an unborn child; and supporting a woman to undergo surgery because she had been slashed up by her ex-partner, who had breached his restraining order (or similar) and taken to her with a machete.

To go from a day like that to the supermarket crowds on Christmas Eve was a little surreal. Watching people bumping into each other as they rushed to get their grocery shopping completed; feeling people’s frustrations because in their mind the shopping queues were far too long; seeing people being rude and disrespectful to the person at the check-out, simply because they were trying to connect to customers, be joyful and have a conversation; and seeing people getting angry and frustrated in the parking lots and on the roads, presumably because someone was in the way or slowing them down.

On arriving home, I went for a walk. During this walk I got to look back over the last couple of days. I could feel the craziness of the world outside, compared to the stillness and love that I felt within… this craziness was definitely magnified at Christmas.

So what does Christmas mean for me? It is about staying with myself and allowing myself to see and feel the beauty, grace, joy, harmony and love within the world and within people, rather than getting caught up in the craziness of life and other people’s experiences and realities. I do not rush around and see people or go too crazy with the Christmas shopping. I do connect with family, friends and colleagues as I would at any other time of the year.

Christmas morning I got up early and sat with myself and felt how still, supportive, loving and nurturing the day was. I had a choice to feel this for the entire day, to take this feeling with me as I spent time with family and friends. I spent time with my family, lovingly cooking food to share with others. I sat with my extended family for most of the day as kids played and adults talked; it was joyful and loving.

Thanks to the teachings of Universal Medicine and Serge Benhayon, I can connect more to that than the ‘in my face’ craziness that I see every day. It is not about being caught up in this hectic and stressful time of year, buying presents and rushing around catching up with people: for me it is not about celebrating the birth of Jesus, either. It is about slowing down, maybe even stopping, to remember that Jesus lived a life serving people, supporting people and loving people, and he did this regardless of who they were. It is a time to remember that we are all special and that we can make choices to be with ourselves. Jesus was not special – remarkable in how he lived his life, perhaps – but not special.

Just as Serge is not special, but very amazing because he too lives a life that is committed and dedicated to people. He has questions, and he poses them to us for consideration. They are questions that are simple and yet allow us to reflect on the choices we are making in our lives, which ultimately lead to what we are creating for ourselves and others. Questions that just may get more of us to stop and look at how we are being with each other. Questions that one day will have more of us choosing a different way to live with each other, so that there is more love, glory, joy and harmony in the world rather than the stress, trauma and chaos of the kind that was so evident around me leading up to this Christmas.

126 thoughts on “What Christmas means to me?

  1. What I can feel is how we are getting played by an energy, not specific to a certain time of the year, but can be more accentuated because of our collective focus on a held belief, but generally living in re-action to its flavour. And that is how it is until we choose to connect with ourselves first and foremost so that we know what it is that is being lived and moved.

  2. As you’ve shared as part of your profession and in my own the Christmas period can be hugely stressful. Not just for those engaging in the festivities but those who need the services and continuity of support. The more I observe it from a wider view the less I see it as a loving thing.

  3. We had a new grandson join the family in December so the holiday was an opportunity for the family to regather and welcome a child into the family and strengthen our connection and love with and for us all.

  4. One way to answer the question what people celebrate is to observe how do they celebrate and what is that they call celebration. In this way, we learn many things. Among them, what they are not choosing to celebrate.

  5. This is an incredible act of group collaboration – to have 2 billion people celebrating one event, in this case Christmas. But if we are able to come together in such a way, what else is possible…?

  6. I love connecting to family and friends around Christmas, having a meal together and going for a walk. But it is also just another day and on other days I love these things as well.

  7. This is brilliant. ‘What Christmas means to me?’ – and not ‘What Christmas truly means?’ This reveals so much about where you are, what you are observing in the world, what your values are, everything that is true for you – regardless of what the shoulds of the world might say and how others might spend it. It says so much about your relationship with yourself and the world. Just like questions Serge Benhayon might pose, this kind of questioning offers an amazing stop for us to find a place to observe and be in the world holding no judgment.

  8. I still find it both ironic and interesting how many people do not consider themselves religious but yet still celebrate Christmas.

  9. There are so many trigger points in the group psyche of our society… Christmas, is definitely one of those… Is of course our birthdays, Mother’s Day, in fact curiously enough so many of these so-called celebrations are times of intense trauma… Worth contemplating!

  10. Having spent the past few years learning about connecting with myself and with others, I found this Christmas just gone a bit of a non-event. The deliciousness of knowing myself more deeply, and allowing that to enrich my relationships with others is the most wonderful present – and consequently I found myself largely uninterested in the thought of gifts this time around. It is through the teachings and reflections of Serge Benhayon that I have come to know this way of being – thank you Serge. How amazing it would be for those who are experiencing domestic violence or suicidal ideations to know there is another way to live in this world.

  11. Christmas is time to connect with family and friends, we can do this in a gentle and no fuss way or get caught up in the rush and hype and anxiety that our idea of Christmas brings. A staff member in my local supermarket which was packed with people frantically shopping, commented and just shook her head, and said” and all this just for one day”

  12. Christmas is a tradition for many very true. And for many to suddenly change this tradition is not possible just by the example that when I became honest to my son that Santa Claus does not exist he was mad at me for years. If Christmas is truly a season of love and Connection then Living this with ourselves and thus with others is bringing the essence of Christmas to each other.

  13. It strikes me that most of Jesus’s true teachings were about harmony, brotherhood, equality and a one unified humanity and so this for me is what Christmas is about which is in contrast to the separation and disharmony that people appear to get caught up in at this time of year.

    1. Love your simple and powerful comment, Andrew. We get to see and most of us experience the exact opposite of what Jesus’s teachings were about. Without connection to yourself no harmony, brotherhood and one unified humanity. And all the rushing, foods and ideals and believes lead to disharmony and separation. The world upside down.

  14. I couldn’t imagine having the profession you have, I take my hat off to you, it is highly admiral that we have people willing to support in this way. As for Christmas, I love it because it is a time to reflect, a time to connect and people are generally more social. I do not believe in tricking your kids about Santa or getting smashed and eating yourself into a coma but just connecting with loved ones and sharing a meal. On your side of things though it is disturbing the extra damage alcohol fuels.

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