So far as I am aware, there are about 14 major religious celebrations around the world at this time of year, including Hanukkah and Christmas. And that’s ok – this isn’t about what you or I celebrate, or the appropriate greeting. (Whichever greeting you use, after all, should be accepted for the spirit in which it is given).
There’s the first of our spirits – not at all like Dickens’ ghosts of Christmas. Come to think of it, it’s the ONLY spirit of Christmas (that this post is concerned about, at least).
The Spirit of Giving
Of those celebrations I know of, only two are not about gift giving, and of all of those, there is one I include which I haven’t found documented anywhere – “The Holy Communion of Our Master of Capitalistic Consumerism”. After all, every year, more and more, we are encouraged to spend, buy, consume, and so we do, with the season beginning earlier and earlier. And why do we do this? So that we can give, of course! How many of us love to give a gift? I do, especially when I see the receiver really appreciate it.
But, in our media-fuelled frenzy of spending (and thank goodness we haven’t yet reached US Black Friday levels of hysteria), there’s the one gift we keep over-looking, and this year, that’s somewhat surprising. Y’see this year, all over the media, one of the greatest gifts that can be given IS being given. There are literally thousands of volunteer fire-fighters out there giving their time – their lives – to complete strangers. They and their families are giving up their Christmas (or other celebration) time for people they do not even know. And they do it not for thanks, not for reward, not for any other reason than it needs to be done.