Tonight we put up our Christmas tree. And I got to thinking about the spirit of Christmas - at least one of them. I think spirit should be plural.
I know the BIG Spirit of Christmas, the one that fills my heart with joy at each Christmas Carol and at each quiet moment spent with my Maker, thinking about Him during this awe inspiring season.
Then there is the generic spirit of Christmas. This is the festive mood, the general infectious feeling of generosity and joy that perpetrates every soul, those Christian or of Christian heritage - and often those of completely other religions.
Then there are the MANY spirits of Christmas that unfold seamlessly into my heart as we unpack the boxes of tree ornaments. Christmas tree decorating in our house is like a party for our personal saints. Their spirits fill the room with love and history of cherished days gone. There is my husband’s grandma’s frail old glass house and her kitchy plastic nativity, and my Grandma’s glass hanging beads, my other Grandmas frail glass bobble, the silver Santa Claus my dad bought me, the sweet rustic treasures crafted by my children’s hands and the endless quantity of Christmas ornaments from my mom and my husband’s mom – both unique personifications of Christmas itself. Then there are ornaments from happier times from people of relationships lost. These are all good too. Even these speak to happy times of giving and good will. Our Christmas tree, with its star of Bethlehem at the top and the stars of the universe dancing upon it, not only speaks of that oh so holy night, it speaks of our personal communion of saints – all those we love and have loved, through a rich and complex family history.
So, when it is all done, I sit here tonight with my next of kin – all of them. And together, we celebrate the season, once again.