Christmas and the Lost Meaning of Our Words

One of my work colleagues has a saying he often uses: “I look, but what do I see?” It came to mind recently when I wanted to buy a card featuring the Nativity scene for a friend who I knew thought of Christmas that way. I was looking, but all I could see were Christ-less Christmas cards featuring everything from snowflakes, reindeer and santas, to presents, stars, Christmas trees, decorations and words like ‘season’s greetings’, but not a Christ child in sight.

The very essence of Christmas – Christ – is absent from the mass of Christmas products drenching stores and media for the past few months. It is ironic and masterful at the same time that we can so publicly, commercially and socially share in, promote and support an event that is void of the essence of its very name and the origins of this globally popular word.

To put it into perspective, it would be like the Olympics without sports, soccer without a ball, motor racing without cars, fashion without clothes, music without sound, royalty without the royals.

Even though we all acknowledge the obvious commercial presence of Christmas, there is little focus or question on what’s not present, like Christ.

This isn’t a rant about the Christ-less Christmas being a bad or evil thing or about our lack of piety, but the Christ-less Christmas is, perhaps, the most blatant example of the meaninglessness of words today, the hollow emptiness of our language and the growing façade of words, whose substance has been rotted away like houses eaten through with termites, appearing solid but crumbling into nothingness at the touch. The word Christmas describes a foundational part of our lives, yet that foundation today has no relation, or connection, to the actual celebrating-the-birth-of-Christ-into-the-world meaning of the word.

The real problem with Christmas is not that it is Christ-less but that it is meaning-less; that is, the actual meaning of the word Christmas and what it has come to mean, in reality, are no longer the same thing. Putting Christ back into Christmas is about using words and language in the fullness of their true meaning so that we may mean what we say and say what we mean, deeply, fully, clearly and truly.

Observing the activity around Christmas reveals that the majority of us are definitely religious about decorating, gifting, feasting, holidaying and rounding it all off with sale shopping, devoid of honouring the birth of a being, whose short life and simple wisdom has echoed down the centuries, offering a way of living that has inspired many. We don’t have to be Christian to appreciate the Christ.

Christmas is a super-powerful word and once we get past the white noise and discern its meaning, as The Way of The Livingness invites us to always do for ourselves, it offers a genuine and true way to live. The word Christ actually refers to our connection with each other as One Family, not by blood, but by Brotherhood – we are all each other’s family, regardless of physical or legal ties, in essence beyond physical bounds. How different would this annual festival be if the word Christ was known and reflected in our celebrations of how we live, connecting deeply with each other as One Family and as the Brothers we equally are?

Without such truth in our words, we can say one thing but mean and live another, as so many of us can testify to with our current experiences of Christmas. How much living wisdom have we lost in the cracks between meaning and reality in the words we use in our lives? What gets lost and buried is us when our words and our lives don’t match, when our words are not embodied in the way we live.

Being definite in our language invites us to return integrity to our speech and our lives, having words actually match their meaning equally and universally, without distortion or versions, so they may be known singularly by any ear that hears them or eye that reads them. Moreover, the more we live with such integrity, the more we will insist that our words reflect this lived quality whereby Christmas is a lived celebration of the Christ, the Brotherhood we know, not in theory, but in the everyday way of our livingness.

By Adrienne Hutchins, BEd, Brisbane, Australia

Related Reading:
What I Love about Christmas
The Way of The Livingness – It’s My Religion
Christmas Lies, Christmas Myths and the Truth about Christmas

Related Tags: Serge Benhayon

542 thoughts on “Christmas and the Lost Meaning of Our Words

  1. A great blog Adrienne, bringing meaning back into what has become such a meaningless day and the fact that the lead up to that day is starting earlier and earlier in the year, just perpetuating the whole process. It does of course as you say come back to your livingness and how we choose to speak, live and share the day of Christmas, not just on that day, but every other day of the year.

  2. Truth in words is given such little regard – interpretation and bastardisation is rife in our everyday communication as well as in the media. Thank you, Adrienne, for reminding us how harmful and retarding this is for us to be accepting that.

    1. I agree Suse. Sometimes the words are not used with the meaning they truly have, sometimes they are somehow owned by some specific groups. In any case and fortunately, we can choose the way in which we use and re-imprint them with its true meaning along with our livingness to restore its true meaning

  3. I simply love words Adrienne and while reading this I felt the absoluteness in the truth of the word Christmas. It truly is a word that encapsulates us all from the very core of who we are. It hold us all as one in the true sense of the word. Thank you.

  4. You are so right, Adrienne. Christmas, the word, is empty of the truth the word stands for. Perhaps Christmas as a word is more connected to the origins where that feast stood for, namely it is of Germanic origins, which the Catholic church used as a clever basis to figure out a combination between old Germanic traditions and the new religion that was suppressed to the people Rome conquered, so that the Germans could more easily accept this new religion. I mean, for example, the Christmas tree as a symbol within the Christmas tradition obviously does not originate from the land where Christ was born.

  5. The Christ light lives within us all and cannot be packaged or bought for it is an emanation we express when we truly connect with ourselves and each other.

  6. This blog makes a great point. Once you embrace the true meaning of a word it is impossible to have any sympathy what is done in that name if that which is done is an open denial of what is true about it.

  7. Thank you Adrienne, sharing with us that our words should be brought back alive in how we use them – and that the more we allow to live by awareness and integrity the less we allow any untruths to be lived.

  8. It’s pretty shocking when we begin to look at just how many words we have bastardised over the years. We’re not aware of it daily because we partake in the misuse of them , but if you bring your attention to it, it doesn’t take long to notice the list is long. It’s a wonder why we do it, it feels like a lack of commitment to how we live, like we use words as scapegoats to avoid responsibility and authority.

  9. Christmas in the way you share, Adrienne is a great example of how we deviate and get side tracked from original meaning… and not just side tracked, but led down a completely different road. How many other areas of our lives do we completely negate the truth? Another question to pose… suppose what we think is the original truth, in fact turns out not to be – and that in it itself is also a lied version? We can see that we have multitudes and layers of lies that we have accepted.

  10. My father always said that Christmas was everyday if you know that what you have and what you do makes a difference. Wise beyond his years!

  11. It is so important to come back to the true meaning the words before using them — as otherwise the content will just be empty. It is not the words that are the problems but us using them in a way that is unhealthy and of no truth. When we look at the word Christmas we know it is ancient and precious, so it is all about honoring the truth we know to be.. The rest will follow from there.

  12. When I was first introduced to the notion that we are all family, I was a bit like – what the? Family is your blood family or your closest friends that you create a family with. And when Serge Benhayon spoke about loving everyone equally – I did a double what the??? I don’t love my neighbour for example, like I love my Dad. Then I listened more and more to the wisdom the Ageless Wisdom and I started to get it. We are love. There is a love we have for humanity, We all have it. We have just chosen not to be it and live it. The expressions of that love may change depending on the relationship, but the equal love is there for all. Brotherhood. True family.

    1. I love what you have said Sarah. I have found that if I fall still, deepen my connection with my body and inner-heart, in a split second I am loving whoever is in front of me, as ‘deeply and madly’ (just playing) as my closest friends and dear daughter and granddaughter. Everyone’s essence is adorable.

  13. As it is coming up to Christmas this is a fitting blog to read. It makes me see how much we have pushed marketing onto Christmas to be this super happy time when in fact we have lost the original impress altogether.

  14. “We don’t have to be Christian to appreciate the Christ” – very true Adrienne. Witnessing much of the hypocrisy in the church turned me against religion, but the Christ energy is alive and living in us today. .

  15. Christmas then brings it home to us in celebration of ourselves and the way we choose to live in brotherhood. It completely turns things around where our focus is not on something externally or are reaching for but on that which is already within each and every one of us making Christmas about love and connection which ultimately is what we truly want in our lives the most.

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