The Heart of Christmas
Christmas ignites a whole mix of emotions from delight to disappointment and in some strong dislike due to its commercialization. In others disappointed expectations in past family interactions or the religious context is a turn off. I remember one year when I had a Christmas eve party at my home, my neighbor’s daughter brought a birthday cake. When I asked who’s birthday it was, she said, “the baby Jesus”. It was a ‘duh’ moment for me. In all the holiday preparations, I had completely forgotten. With the media noise, busyness and expectation it’s easy to forget the heart and spirit-centered origins of the holiday.
There is love, compassion and generosity at the heart of Christmas and whether you’ve lost that along the way, or just need a reminder, it is possible to find a way back to it through story, love and intention.
The true story of St. Nicholas is one I find especially inspiring and compelling. Our modern day Christmas tradition in the United States and beyond began with his love and generosity. He was a third century bishop from what is now the coast of Turkey. He was a shy man who didn’t want his generosity noticed, so each year on the day Christ’s birth was celebrated, he dropped gold and gifts for children in need down the chimney or through an open window of their house, and they often fell in a shoe or stocking that was set by the fireplace to dry. When he became too old to do the gift giving himself, the town decided to continue the tradition they had come to love, which spread to other towns and from country to country, eventually becoming the story of good old St. Nick or Santa Claus that we know today.
St. Nicholas’ expression of love, generosity and compassion was so compelling, his legacy spread around much of the world and continues today almost 2,000 years after his death, which is remarkable.
So whatever your Christmas past has been, claim the heart of your Christmas present and future through conscious intention and action. What is the compelling expression of love, compassion and generosity that will have a lasting impact on your family, friends and community this holiday season? Each act of kindness, love and generosity touches lives and makes a difference in ways that are beyond measure not only for the recipient but for you the giver as well.
It’s up to each of us to keep St. Nicholas’ legacy alive, through the difference we make this holiday season. Create and enjoy beauty through decorations, lights, the stockings, and generosity of spirit. Take in a favorite holiday movie, or just tell someone you love how much they mean to you. Your heart will be gladdened by it.
May your home and heart be filled with love and laughter this holiday season.
Sabrina Roblin, CPCC has been a professional coach, mentor, and trainer since 2004. She has worked for organizations that include Wells Fargo Bank, Broderbund Software, and The Coaches Training Institute. Contact her for more information and a sample session.