Kat Mills encourages us to try and keep the true spirit and true meaning of Christmas all year round by loving one another.
Over the last couple of years I have shared in this blog about how I struggle with Christmas. I am autistic, have issues with sensory overload and topping those off with ADHD make this time of year extra challenging and often overwhelming. I try to not think about Christmas until I really must!
There is, however, one part of Christmas where I start much, much earlier and this is watching Christmas movies! I am normally a sucker for the "Movies 24" channel, so what am I supposed to do when from October it becomes "Christmas 24"? I have already watched more Christmas movies than I can count, and this blog is being written in November!
A lot of these Christmas movies are a complete and utter cheese fest, with utterly predictable and cringe worthy plot lines. Something that really strikes me is how many sayings they have about Christmas, both in the films and you hear around this time of year. Some of the popular ones I have picked up on are 'Christmas is the most wonderful time of year', 'Christmas is the time for miracles', 'the time for giving', 'The time to forgive and let go', 'The most magical time', 'everything feels right at Christmas'.
Some of these quotes I struggle with. Of course, I love the pretty fairy lights, the festive hot chocolate flavours, the carols and the sense of community, but just because it is Christmas doesn't mean that a magic wand is waved, and everything is suddenly okay. People still experience loss, sickness, financial strain and grief at this time of year. Singing carols and eating rich food doesn't change that. I also struggle with the concept that giving and forgiving is only expected at Christmas but not all year round.
I wince as these lines are churned out in the movies I watch, but there is one song lyric from my ultimate Christmas film, 'A Muppets Christmas Carol', which I think is really worth unpacking - "Wherever there is love it feels like Christmas".
Yes, it is sung by a Muppet "Ghost of Christmas Present", but whereas the previous phrases I mention glaze over the struggles of life, this song hits the nail on the head. Christmas is all about love, and when there is true love it encompasses the feeling that we all probably long for at Christmas, and all year round.
That's how I feel it should be - the true meaning of Christmas is celebrating the greatest gift of love - Jesus Christ. The fact is that the Son of God gave up everything to come to this earth as a helpless baby, to grow up and eventually pay the ultimate sacrifice so that we could be reunited with God.
So, Christmas is about love, and love is not just for Christmas! It really is the gift that keeps on giving. When we allow love to penetrate every aspect of our lives it will feel like Christmas.
So, I encourage you to try and keep the true spirit and true meaning of Christmas all year round by loving one another, showing compassion and being quick to forgive. Let's not just restrict it to one month a year.
Wishing you a blessed Christmas and a peaceful new year!The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
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