I love the quote written by Charles Dickens in his famous book, A Christmas Carol.
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach”
Most of us are familiar with a movie by the same title. My husband, Iain, is a big fan of this movie. I should say “these” movies, because he watches various interpretations during the holiday season. He likes the older versions, and loves the Disney one, with Jim Carrey in it as Scrooge.
We watch a lot of holiday movies at Christmas time. The old favorites, Holiday Inn, and White Christmas, are always watched in the run up to the big day. We like some of the newer ones, too. Polar Express has become an annual tradition. We’re guilty of tuning into the Hallmark Channel for the smoochy Christmas movies. A Christmas Story, and my favorite, It’s a Wonderful Life, are usually reserved for Christmas Eve.
We’re not big fans of the “Bob slashes his best friends to bits on Christmas Eve” movies. Some of the comedies that are Christmas themed are too cynical for us.
But, getting back to A Christmas Carol. It isn’t really religious, but instead deals with having a kind heart and a good spirit. This is the part of Christmas that I try to keep in my heart. It’s about being charitable, empathetic, and connecting with other people.
I feel like this is the part of the holiday that has faded over time. We all acknowledge that Christmas is over commercialized, but how do we balance that out? So many things can be distracting this time of year. The calendar fills up fast, and everyone’s busy. With all the thinking, planning, organizing, spending, partying… how can we keep Christmas in our hearts?
I think that so many people feel emptiness this time of year, when we forget to pause and reflect. If you are religious, Christmas is a great time to think about your relationship with God. Allowing yourself to be strengthened by prayer can definitely have a positive effect on your feelings about the season.
If you’re not Christian, you may still be religious or spiritual. The end of the year is prime time for reflecting on your faith. A renewal of your dedication to your chosen religion, a reset once a year, can’t hurt… and will most likely help you cope with the holidays.
If you don’t believe in a God, or a higher power, use meditation to help you clarify your values and beliefs as the year ends.
Consider making these commitments to yourself over the holiday season. Don’t beat yourself up if you get overwhelmed. Refer to the quote above. Scrooge says he will “try” to keep it all the year. He isn’t perfect and neither are you and I.