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

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

  1. 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.

  2. Many of my biggest insights came from realising what is missing when I look, something that should be there but often isn’t.

  3. “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 Christmas would be if we had the above understanding of what the word Christ actually means.

  4. “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”

    Ouch, and yes. Ouch because we have all allowed such emptiness in our language, and yes to the awareness that we have done this, because with this awareness, we can choose differently.

  5. Today it is Easter in the Netherlands. We see people buying all yellow things to dress up their breakfast table, we hide chocolate eggs and make the game to find them. Seeing all this and being educated with the christian religion I always forget what we celebrate. I realize the reason why I always forget. I am confused with the eggs and Jesus dying. It doesn’t seem to match in my logical sense.
    Then I see all the people running to the supermarkets as if tomorrow the war will be there.
    The stress is high, a lot of alcohol is going in the baskets.
    Is this a true celebration? from Jesus?
    Let me sit with a candle and then I know God exist, the stillness can be felt especially when we let go the yellow and chocolate eggs and alcohol.

  6. “How much living wisdom have we lost in the cracks between meaning and reality in the words we use in our lives?” Serge Benhayon shines a light on the true meaning of words.

  7. Thank you Adrienne, I love what you have written here about the bastardisation of words. The word Christmas for example has become Xmas where the word Christ is kept out of it all together. What is it we want to avoid by not using the word Christ? As you rightly describe it the word Christ means “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”. Rather than bastardise the word Christmas would it not be sensible then to look at why we want to avoid the fact that we are having a deep connection with each other and that it is only our hurts that prevent us from knowing this and living its truth in full.

  8. We use words to suit ourselves, we measure what we say and rely on “semantics” as our get out of jail card when a situation gets heated and we want to escape the discomfort. If we maintained the integrity of words, then conversations would be a lot more honest and truthful.

  9. It it true that often when we say, write and communicate words we very rarely consider and express the true meaning of them, we are flippant, and not committed to what they mean in truth but use them in a careless and irresponsible way.

  10. When we step back and look at life today, there is a lot that lacks meaning and substance- when we see our kids spending countless hours playing computer games based on killing, when we sit in front of television screens for hours yet share few words with another sitting next to us, when we live in such a state of busyness without a real sense of purpose- we think we are advanced but we have just got faster and with more distractions to cover the lack of substance.

  11. The true meanings and origins of words are still there it’s just that the truth of words are not being lived and therefore as the youth grow up the true living reflection of the word is not being lived and as a consequence the living truth of the word is lost to the youth and so the cycle continues.
    For Jesus by his livingness reflected to all the meaning of the word Christ which means
    ” the light of the Soul consciousness ” as explained and reflected to me one time. ” Christmas ” is not about a person but an expressed way of living that we all have access to if we so choose.

  12. The Christ light lives within us all. Yeshua (Jesus) was the first to fully embody it and live in such a way that he was able to reflect to all others that the one and same light – the light and love of Thy Father – burns deep within us all. History has conveniently buried this truth and deified a simple and humble man so that we, as his equal Brothers, can no longer relate to the way he was living despite the fact he has said words to the effect of: ‘one day all this you will do and more’. Our issue with the Christ-less Christmas is not so much an issue with this man, it is the same old issue we have been having for eons as a humanity and that is that we do not recognise, accept, live and appreciate the depth of divinity we have access to and are living in separation from.

  13. When I was little and learnt that there were other languages spoken in the world that I would not understand and there were people who would not understand the language I spoke, I panicked. The possibility of not being understood for what I truly wanted to mean was scary, and the fact that there were people who could understand more than one language and that there was such thing as translation didn’t quite convince me. How could I trust them? Words became feeble and lost their solidness on me at that point.

    1. And later we learnt that they need not be solid but also could be manipulated to a degree that we probably didn’t expect.

  14. As a child I already loved to feel the Christ energy. It touched the deepest stillnes within myself.
    It is simple and true and confirms that which we are part of. Also you can feel the beholding of it.

  15. It would appear Christ has become daggy in mainstream advertising and for the person who celebrates Christmas. It may have become tarred with the connotations of religion which are generally negative. It’s now really about presents, food and having time off work – relief from the everyday.

    1. This is so true Fiona, the way we celebrate Christmas has changed, I didn’t notice this until you pointed it out. It has gone from being very religious to now being very commercialised and much about escaping life.

  16. “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.” There’s a strength. authority and integrity that comes with being precise in our language. We can feel the truth of words, even when the meaning may have been bastardised.

  17. When we return to the appreciation of the power there is in words there is an opportunity to feel the responsibility we have in our use of them. Words are not ‘two a penny’ or ‘throw away’ things, but things that come with energy and hence responsibility. We pay heed to the physical impact of a punch or a kick, but the energetic impact of an abusive word is just as forceful. I have found reigniting my responsibility around the use of words to be a joy-full thing to do…and truly empowering too.

    1. I absolutely agree Richard. We have a responsibility to use words correctly and with the integrity they call for.

    2. Beautifully expressed Richard, everything is energy and this supports me to understand that words are equally as powerful if not more powerful than a physical act. I have found it easier to heal from a punch than it was to heal from abusive words.

      1. Me too chanly88. Words can cut us more deeply than any blade. And on the very rare occasions in my life when I have been punched, the thing that hurt most was not physical at all, but the absence of love and brotherhood that it exposed.

  18. It’s true Christ has very little or no relevance for most people at Christmas. Christmas has become a huge commercial wheel that starts in September/October and continues until the New Year, instead of it being a time when we can reflect on our lives, discarding and letting go of everything that no longer serves us, preparing ourselves for a new cycle and the year ahead. It is a time for celebration and joy but we have bastardised everything Christ means and made it into everything Christ is not.

    1. And we further reduce the meaning of this word by giving ourselves permission to celebrate only once a year.

      1. Yes similar to birthdays where we celebrate for a day, take a little extra care, express our love with each other and then it’s over. We are so worth living in appreciation of ourselves and others every day, each moment in fact. Joyful day to you 🙂

  19. For many Christ is just a word, a concept, an ideal, and not a living presence that all have access to. The great joy of Christmas is certainly blotted out by the excesses of materialism and/or poverty, and most certainly by the excesses of food and alcohol used by may to numb themselves to family feuds that can simmer away at the feast! The whole thing can be quite an anti-climax, and can completely miss the mark of celebrating the birth of the Christ fire within every human heart and body.

  20. We withdraw from life then wonder why it feels so bankrupt and empty. We repackage the same stuff every day but nothing will change till we bring the truth and understand we hold love’s essence inside. We are here to never hold back. Thank you Adrienne.

    1. Our reactions to the world leads to blaming everything around us but when we get really honest, we begin to see how much misery we contribute to the world when we choose to hold back. Honesty is a step we can embrace that takes us closer to responsibility. No blame is present when we decide to take full responsibility for life.

  21. What a very fitting blog with Christmas fast approaching, and what a great example of one of many words that have lost their meaning through the ages. You can see with this word how we have slowly pushed off track leaving it completely void of it’s truth. When words are lived in truth it’s a great gift for all.

  22. It can feel really uncomfortable at first when I begin to undo the true meaning of words. The consciousness that I chose to be a part of can feel big but every moment of discomfort is something to celebrate and appreciate because in that moment I have allowed myself to feel and sense truth.

  23. Great point. Christmas for me has nothing at all to do with Christ, in fact, I forgot that it was even meant to be a celebration of his birth and remember back at school doing nativity scenes – that was about all I had to go on that this is what the day is supposed to be about. But have we been told the full story of Christ, therefore do we know what we were truly celebrating? Perhaps it’s not such a bad thing to lose meaning for something that was never the full version to begin with. Were we celebrating Yeshua or simply the version the church told us?

  24. ‘We don’t have to be Christian to appreciate the Christ.’ So very true – and in fact I would say the non-Christian could have a clearer perception of what the Christ truly is.

  25. This article is truly a snapshot of how we live and behave in our world today, where we have completely changed meanings of words and in the process have chosen to lessen our quality, as the pull to maintain it is eroded with the way we talk and treat another.

  26. It is true that we don’t have to be a so called Christian to appreciate what Jesus brought to the world. The problem comes from the word Christian also being reinterpreted to mean membership of some organised religion rather than simply a lived way of life that is common to all of humanity.

  27. If we would truly celebrate the Christ it would not be possible to do it the way we do it. Yeshua brought to earth a way of living that is so different from the way we now celebrate Christmas, it is often leaving us exhausted, pressured and with way too much food in our stomachs that we have to recover after it. The way of living Yeshua presented was about true love and care for yourself and everyone else, honouring we are divine and very beautiful and living in a way that is naturally vitalising. We would really benefit greatly from taking head of these teachings now again.

  28. It’s a powerful read Adrienne, about the versions of words we choose impacting our integrity and ability to live the truth that words once meant. Along with the versions of words we have many differing versions of ourselves, we are as lost to the integrity of our true selves as we are to the true meanings of words.

  29. “Without such truth in our words, we can say one thing but mean and live another”. I think this causes much grief, confusion and tension in this world because we are raised to focus solely on words and not on what is actually being lived and felt. A simple example is when people say that they are good thanks when asked how they are, but they are not really good at all. We hear the words ‘good’ but their body tells another story.

    1. This is very interesting Sarah, and it makes sense then why lies seem to be more accepted than truth in our world. I notice not many people are prepared to call out the lies that we can feel in our body but instead buy the lies through relying on only one or two of our senses. The most common combination we use is sight and hearing and we tend to leave out our other senses. Why not use them all to discern the words we receive, read the energy and then we can never be fooled?

  30. You have summed this up so well ‘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.’ And on reflection what I could feel is, well, the whole story of the Christ has been bastardised so no wonder ‘Christmas’ has. If a world is fed the ill story that only one person is the Son of God and can only save us and was killed how on earth is that going to leave us feeling? Like where do we go from there? The truth is we are all equal, each and every person has the ability to hold the same amount of love, truth and wisdom within their own body as Jesus did but are we taught how to live and be this? No! So in order not to feel any of this we make Christmas about … shopping! If a current or torrent of lies is not discerned then we get caught up in it and end way way off track like we have done with Christmas. Time to stop, discern and take a step towards true truth for it has never left us we have left it.

  31. We celebrate Popstars& actors but not honouring and reflecting why Christ-mas does exist in the first place. The life of Jesus was there to reflect unity and that everyone carries the same Christ and love within. How far astray are we as humanity, that it became a feast of consumption and disregard, fulfilling expectations.

    1. Thank you Stefanie, this is such a great comment. We dismiss a true Master of love and Brotherhood in this world and celebrate and watch every move of a pop star. This perhaps reflects the way we have lost values. When a true reflection such as Jesus is presented we make it out of reach and settle for a much lesser reflection. We have settled for a superficiality in life, for excitement and distraction, instead of exploring the depths of how life can truly be as presented by Jesus and many other great teachers of the Ageless Wisdom in our past.

  32. The world can appear unbelievable at times…All we have to do is to breathe “Christ” in our every breath and in our everyday, live the truth that our bodies know and allow everyone else to live theirs. Ooo Christmas every day and that is the truth of how it is within our hearts.

  33. 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.

  34. “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. .

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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!

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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.

    1. Truth will always win. Question is, how fast do you want to return to the truth or live in a version of it, that actually only keeps you longer away from your essence and true wisdom.

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

    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

  46. 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.

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