Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive

For most of us, the Christmas season holds two great themes in tension. One is the remembrance of Jesus’ birth, Emmanuel in lowly circumstances: our salvation. The other is preparation and shopping: the material world.

We’re spiritual and material creatures. We recognize both sides of the Christmas holiday. Still, it’s difficult some years to get even one side right, let alone both.

With that in mind, we have a question: What do you do to keep the Christmas spirit alive this time of year?

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13 Responses to “Keeping the Christmas Spirit Alive”

  1. Jim McBride Says:

    I organize a family community service project such as feeding the homeless at the St. Vincent de Paul Village in San Diego.

  2. Dan Esposito Says:

    To help spread as much love and happiness as possible!

  3. Tom Garland Says:

    Year around, I collect bicycles, wheelchairs and walkers for the prison in Ellsworth KS. Once there, the inmates refurbish these items and the wheelchairs and walkers are sent overseas for the needy and the bicycles are distributed in KS through various organizations. I also pick up used furniture and some appliances and take them to Garden City KS where we give them to the needy with the help of Sister Janice Thome. I also have been able to pickup bicycles and distribute them in Garden City to the needy children there. I have been doing this for about 6 years and after every trip, I feel like Santa Claus. It is a great feeling!
    Tom Garland
    Pratt KS

  4. Ruth Says:

    With our limited budget we try to help local charities, food banks, children charities and animal welfare groups with small donations to each. It is not much but it makes us feel good to do what we can.

  5. Maria Aznar Says:

    I celebrate Advent and Christmas with the Lord, going to Mass every day, praying for the poor, the suffering, and those who do not know Christ.
    I also participate in charitable programs, send cards to friends with a message of love and peace, and share my joy with family and neighbors in order to nurture the best relations possible in our community.

  6. Sister Mary Gebhard Says:

    A group of us meet together to discuss the Sunday liturgies. We are also putting off the Chirstmas parties to a time after Christmas so the Advent spitit is kept intact.

  7. Deirdre Says:

    I try to just do things for others–make meals, give some well selected little gift, just TRY to be of some service to someone else and not expect to get anything back. I hope to make others feel that it is OK to let someone else do something for them once in a while. We have far too many people who want to go it alone and neglect to see the Christ that is in each other–that “whatever you do for the least” thing.

  8. Charles Says:

    Be even more friendly than usual, greeting people. More kindness to family and friends.

  9. Glen Galati Says:

    Everyday of life is a celebration of Christ’s birth. Christmas is kept alive in our family by Jesus’s birth each day by being thankful for all the gifts that we have been blessed with. We especially try to do at least one good turn for everyone that come in contact with. Even if only a smile, or a simple kind greeting with words that show your love and consideration for their presence. We now that materalism is not the answer to happiness. Our small Jesuit parish is very involved with Peace and Justice works from knitting necessities for babies, Pregnacey Aid, Food Banks, Warm clothing for the homeless, and feeding those in need, plus our missions in Alaska, Washington, Montana, and Africa.

  10. Kathy Hampton Says:

    We celebrate Advent first and then Christmas. In today’s society that is hard. We take part in our church’s Advent concert and then do the things around the house to prepare for Christmas. We always get ornaments off the Angel tree and buy gifts for those less fortunate than us. Several years ago my husband and I opted not to give each other Christmas presents. Instead, we go shopping in the CRS catalog and buy several gifts with the money we would normally spend on one another. It’s a great way to celebrate Christmas.

  11. M. Reilly Says:

    I distribute Advent ribbon/bookmarks to my relatives, friends, and co-workers; I wear a pin that has an Advent wreathe on it, and says, “Prepare, hope, wait;” and I send Advent e-greetings to practically everyone in my address book. We hang a wooden mobile-like advent wreath on our outside door for everyone to see. My family and I light the Advent wreath on our table every evening at dinner time, say an appropriate prayer and read a short meditation.

  12. Jessie Says:

    I teach CCD & RCIA and always specify the importance of the season (Jesus’ birth vs santa claus etc.) I purchase badges &/or car stickers that say “Jesus is the Reason” or “It’s OK to say Merry Christmas” and hand them out. I live on a corner near a very busy street, so I decorate my yard with all that is about the coming of Jesus Birth. Every year I put up on the roof of my house different litup signs such as “Peace On Earth”, “The Light of the World” “Prince of Peace”, “Glory to God” and it does have a powerful impact on passerbys. Throughout the years many have commented to me about the beauty & spirituality of my home. One year a church youth group was having a scavenger hunt for the biggest nativity sceene in town. All 5 groups came at different times to take pictures. Our town newspaper came one year, took a picture and it made the front page with a caption: THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS!

  13. Sheila Says:

    Thomas Merton wrote that if we prepare with a change of heart to Him, Advent is the coming of God into our own being from which we have.gone out, in order to make room for him.
    SUGGESTION: I was thinking of my grandchildren, some upper mid grade now…and their lists. long.!
    COuld CRS institute a special card; perhaps christmas in feeling..with the message,
    BLank(name) has given a gift to Catholic Relief SERvices in your(teenager’s name) name. this gift will go to help…people in the Congo, India..with a little photo that is relevant to that area.
    I realize that this would mean money to CRS..but other charities like Heifer do it, and I THINK that it is successful.
    This would show the true Christmas spirit to the kids,and it might even gain more supporters for CRS.
    What do you think?

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