The holiday season is undeniably here, and I confess it has me – as it sometimes does – pondering what the spirit of the season really means. Can it be found in the observances of the birth of Christ? Is it about Santa and trees and decorations and Christmas music? Can it be recognized in the solemn daily lighting of the menorah? Is it apparent in the different earth-based celebrations of the Winter Solstice? And what about the cultural commemorations that take place this time of year?
I decided to ask some of my co-workers what the spirit of the season means to them and you know what I found? That while the spirit of the season means slightly different things to different people, there seems to be a universal theme running throughout: An opportunity to affirm one’s religious faith, a chance to share time with special loved ones, and a time to reach out and help those in need. Here’s what they had to say:
“The holiday season means time to commemorate the birth of Jesus, reflect on our blessings, and enjoy the company of loved ones. Along with enjoying festivities, it is also a good time to remember and give to those in need and plan for the year ahead.”
– Loraine Avila, Compliance Analyst
“The Christmas season brings a warm and comforting feeling to me as we celebrate the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. The Christmas season reminds us to pray for those who are less fortunate, but also pray for those who are close to our hearts. When we show kindness to others, it reflects the kindness God shows to us. Just having a moment of sharing and giving says it all. Peace be with you.”
– Dennis Lee, Director of Claims
“The spirit of Christmas/the holiday season means to me a celebration of the true living God who gave us Jesus Christ, born for our redemption and the light of darkness through our faith in him. It’s a time to show love by giving gifts and reflecting and celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.”
– Sylvia McBride, Customer Service/Client Services Supervisor
“Christmas is about the love of God toward all people. He sent his Son into the world to teach us how to love one another. The spirit of Christmas is love as demonstrated by the author of love.”
– Debbi Myers, Accounting Clerk
“Faith, love and family are three important words I try to live by each day, but during the holidays they have so much more meaning. I enjoy spending time with my family, celebrating the birth of Jesus and remembering those who are no longer with us. I cherish every moment, especially our many family traditions, listening to festive holiday music, watching Hallmark Christmas movies, experiencing the smiles and laughter of family and friends, and watching bowl games; then as things start to wind down, tuning in to watch the ball drop in New York City as we ring in a brand new year!
– Nicole Watson, Human Resources Manager
“First I start by giving thanks for the birth of Christ on Christmas. Then I look forward to spending time with family and making sure I give something to everyone in the spirit of giving. I always end up spending more than I intended too. But the appreciation I get from those I give gifts to makes it worth it.”
– Kevin Williams, Underwriter
As for me, I’ve come to the conclusion that whatever your faith or religious beliefs or traditions, the true spirit of this season is really what you feel in your heart, the warm, glowy confidence that comes from believing that everyone matters and we’re all part of something bigger than ourselves. It’s something you can’t buy, and you can’t get it from anyone else. It’s a feeling that outlasts any season and one we should strive to hold onto all year long.
Whatever this season means to you, we wish you health, happiness and joy that last throughout the year!