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The Spirit of Christmas

By William Alexander | December 23, 2008

I found it!  For a shining, magical moment…  I found the spirit of Christmas amidst the ugly place we call Tysons Corner, Virginia through the horribly selfish and dangerous northern Virginian drivers, beyond the greedy shoppers, and well, well outside the festively (and wastefully) wrapped presents.

I don’t like buying things.  I don’t need things.  If I had my way (and I hope to someday soon) I would never touch a paper bill or credit card for the rest of my life.  The more I get without seeing exactly the way it came to me, the more I tell myself, “too much stuff!  Too much stuff!”

I think we’ve all lost touch with a lot of important things, (orly?  You hadn’t noticed?) The Spirit of Christmas not being excluded.  As I paraded around the mall this week looking for a particularly ugly lapshade to further a family tradition, I felt like an alien — like I was invisible, or that I knew a secret about things nobody else did.  Does that sound elitist of me?  Good.  (I am happy with my life, and I see on the faces of the people in Saks Fifth Avenue (for example) that they are not.)   I don’t want to make these people like me, I just want them to be like THEY secretly want to be.  I see it clear as day.


I see the Spirit of Christmas in children.  That’s where I’m going and I am too bogged down by the things that bother me during this season to make a nice story leading up to that point.  I was in Costco watching people be rude to their fellow man in an attempt to get the gifts for their loved ones ASAP.  I watched people run around feeling obligated to give gifts to people on this arbitrarily chosen date that is supposed to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.  I get frustrated because I can’t see any logic in waiting to give people that I love things I think they deserve — that and I don’t see why anyone would deserve a diamond ring at the expense of human life, or an HD TV made of masterials that are quickly being depleted from our planet, or even just simple gifts that nobody REALLY wants, but we get them for the sake of saying, “hey, we didn’t forget about you at least.”  (Did you know we could invest 10,000,000$ in providing clean water (the lack of which is the NUMBER ONE killer in the world) to the world, but instead we spend 45 times that on Christmas each year.)

So in the midst of people walking around placing a higher value on their family members than the other members of their human family, they were doing a major disservice to people who really might need things — things more important than something like a game for Nintendo Wii that simulates outdoor activities.  (Honestly.  Honestly?), I see a father helping his child drink some water.  His face reveals to me that the rest of the store doesn’t matter.  The gifts, the money, the obligations… None of it exists but his son.  A weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  This is Christ in action I thought to myself.  This is Christmas.  The present I feel we need to give to each other is attention, love, and affection.  Those all come from us following our spirits, closing in the distance between ourselves and god.  The gift we can give is the gift of being ourselves for them.  You are a beautiful, perfect person, and if you step up and fill those shoes, you will give the people you love exactly what they want and deserve.

Buddha, Lao-Tzu, and Christ have all reminded us to look to children to learn the truth.  This is because children inspire us to be our true selves by being themselves, and they MAKE us be ourselves by reminding us to fully embody love, which is identical to being ourselves completely.

Topics: Utterly Random | 1 Comment »

One Response to “The Spirit of Christmas”

  1. PPOL Says:
    December 25th, 2008 at 12:38 am

    Beautiful post, PPOL. And too true. You know, I fret about the “unconscious ones” myself but am reminded that we all travel the path we need in order to learn our lessons. What seems like perfect and pure common sense to me might sound like pure and perfect drivel to someone else (coughBillcough). The trick, as I understand it, is to find YOUR OWN PATH, regardless of what others want it to be and follow that.

    I’m so with you on being over the whole materialism thing. This year, more than any other, I’ve really seen it in action (not as much in myself as in past years) and it just makes me want to scream. The best gift is in giving of yourself, not just on one day a year but on as many as you can, to whomever you feel needs it.

    So, on this eve of the day we celebrate Jesus the Christ’s birth-day, I want you to know I hold you close in my heart and send you love and light for all your journeys. You are the most perfect YOU ever! :)

    Love and crap,