Friday, December 17, 2010

Simplify and Live More Fully - The True Meaning of Christmas

As I was visiting with Jim and Linda (not their real names), the discussion evolved into one where each began articulating what was really important to them. It turned out it wasn’t having a nicer home, an expensive vacation or even more income – all concerns they had voiced previously.

What was really important to them, it turned out, was just spending time together – talking about ideas and enjoying each other’s company. In fact, as they reminisced, it turned out they had been happiest when they had less because they were focused less on things and more on enjoying each other and valuing their relationship.

At Christmas-time, it seems that we often get caught up in the business of the season – putting up grand displays of lights and decorations, letting ourselves be enticed by all the advertisements, believing we need the newest tool, gadget, or appliance. And yet, what is the meaning of Christmas? What is the true purpose of the occasion we celebrate on December 25th?

Isn’t it a story of a very humble birth, a very simple occasion? Yes, there were angels singing and wise men bringing gifts, but with reverence and focused attention on the divine birth. Shepherds and their sheep were also there. Isn’t Christmas a time to remember the message of the babe that was born? We are not here just to accumulate things but rather to learn to love and value each other. Indeed, as Jim and Linda realized – to simplify and live more fully.

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