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

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

  1. Coming together to celebrate oneness, unity, community, congregation, light and love…we can do this every day of the year…however the cycles we have express something for us to learn because many of us do not live this everyday.

  2. What I notice about Christmas time is that a longing occurs in people for something more in their lives. It is like we want a deeper connection with people but don’t be honest about it and instead give presents, which really do not support us at in terms of the connection that we are looking for.

  3. “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” – so true, and the opposite can also be said that we have the responsibility to live the truth of the words we speak in order to preserve their integrity.

  4. We don’t have to celebrate christmas to live the Christ; such powerful expression. So true! Lets see the trap of our illusionary way of living, because we hiding what is oh so visibly true.

  5. Christmas came with a certain feeling for me as a small child and then I spent my whole adult life trying to re-create the magic I felt when young and failed miserably because it involved a lot of stress to re-create it and then it would inevitably fall short. What I realised was that it was the closeness of the family that made it special and not the presents. My family acted differently towards each other at Christmas and that’s what I had picked up on and enjoyed the most.

  6. Bringing back truth into our lives start with reclaiming words that carry an immense beauty. That, however, is just the beginning. Moving in a way that is true to the word is the real thing.

  7. The celebrations that took place at the end of the year to mark the end of a season and a beginning of a new cycle of rebirth were hijacked by the Christians and were used to celebrate the birth of Christ instead. That is why we still have the Holly, Ivy and Mistletoe to name a few entwined with ‘Christmas’ these belong to the ‘heathen’ celebration of the closing of the old cycle and the re birth of the new. So really we are celebrating something that isn’t factually true at all.

  8. ‘Being definite in our language’. This is a beautiful phrase, which I love because it also calls in to account every gesture that one makes when speaking, so words are no longer to be flung about as they can instead be considered and carefully placed with delicacy and with an awareness of what impact each word has.

  9. We use the misinterpretation of words we bring further divide amongst us. If we really wanted a unified world we would look more carefully at how we speak and the words that we use.

  10. Christmas is an opportunity for us to take time to deepen our connections, to spend time with each other, and not get caught up in the multimillion dollar business of Christmas which reflects everything Christmas is not about, the greatest gift is always love.

  11. So many twisted words within our vocabulary, Christ, Esoteric, Truth, Love – it makes you question whether there are any words left in our dictionary that hold true integrity.

  12. I love what you share about bringing integrity back to words and how we use them, it is so important that we are discerning and not haphazard about the language we use and why, it informs so much of what we understand about the reality of the world we live in. When we use words responsibly and cohesively, we will unify as a humanity.

  13. Christmas has become about presents, gifts, food, emotional drama, escape and zoning out, and not much about coming together in harmony, sharing, bringing love and appreciation. I feel we need to ditch our current pictures and images of Christmas and return to basics. Strip it right back to appreciate that this is a time of year that offers us an opportunity to reunite, reconnect and return to a deeper level of love.

  14. It is fascinating and no surprise really that we have rejected the opportunity to feel a marker in time, a day in a year, to reflect on the degree in which we en masse live the quality of Christ in our lives and with each other as an avoidance of being honest about the degree we are choosing to walk away from the responsibility of living true Brotherhood. There is much that needs to be re-imprinted and claimed in our language and through our Livingness.

  15. It is true that the way we can get swept up by Christmas, and go all festive is indeed a religion. It is a relationship with the theme of the season, making it about the excitement and gifts and sales. When in fact this is so very far from the original meaning, and we have just said yes to something being commercialised and exploited.

    1. As do I Suse – it highlights just how much we are willing to ignore and diminish all that we are and all that we are innately connected to and instead play along with sub-standards to keep us distracted and entertained from feeling the responsibility we are willfully walking away from.

  16. Adrienne, I feel your article is a loving call for us to take responsibility for ensuring that the words we use are used in line with their true energetic meaning and not in their bastardised form.

  17. I like this enquiry from your colleague – ““I look, but what do I see?” . The truth is when we look there is so much that can get in the way of receiving what is there to be received. This can be how we feel about ourselves, our reaction to what we are seeing, our beliefs and ideals etc. To truly receive what is there when we look is to settle back within ourselves and deeply surrender knowing that whatever is presented to us we can deal with.

  18. We all need a one unified truth and we are currently a million miles from this. Words originally had one meaning that everyone agreed on. That is where we need to evolve back to. We need to see that having hundreds of different meanings or even two different meaning of one word is a formula for separation and division. After thousands of years we should be able to see that this clearly does not work, yet so long as we have our vices and our television we don’t care that we have no truth in the world. We need to wake up and start to care.

  19. Every year we go through a vast number of online cards to find one or, rarely, two that are beautiful and fit the bill. Finding Christmas Cards seems to be work.

  20. Thank you Adrienne for explaining the meaning of the word Christ, it makes so much sense and I can see how far away we are living from this truth when I look around. I can see how society is living and celebrating Christmas has not an ounce of brotherhood.

  21. It is interesting to observe how many words we as a society distort and change the true meaning of, so we can use it for distraction, commercialise it and lace it with falsities. Why we do this? To avoid evolution and responsibility.

  22. Interesting how we have turned Christmas into a distraction and business when its a time of year for true togetherness and brotherhood.

    1. Yes, our guard is down during that period and hence we are more vulnerable to a message of spending money on others.

    2. It looks like we have been very good at turning pretty much everything into some form of distraction and comfort. For example, exercise, work, leisure, and life. Everywhere we look we have created life into one huge distraction by avoiding responsibility and love.

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