★ Day 10 – Reason for the Season – What is the Spirit of Christmas? ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness 110 - Daily Dependence - Advent Wreath 2The second purple candle that is lit on the Advent Wreath represents Peace and today’s “Reason for the Season” is going to explore how we can experience that in the midst of a busy season by making the choice to live out each day with the Spirit of Christmas in our hearts.  Let me ask you; are you a Little House on the Prairie fan?  If not, I strongly urge you to start binge watching it on Netflix or set the DVR to record it from the Hallmark Channel.  10 - Daily Dependence - Little House in the Prairie castIt is without a doubt, one of the most outstanding TV shows, which to this day, my family and I continue to watch daily!  For those not familiar, Little House on the Prairie (LHOTP) first aired in 1974 (the year I was born.)  It is a pioneer/western TV drama adapted from the books that Laura Ingalls Wilder authored about her life in Plum Creek, Minnesota.  41 years later, this timeless classic TV show is just as relevant in teaching great life principles in a realistic but uplifting way, as it was when it first hit the airways!  Growing up I had heard of LHOTP but never really watched it.  I came to love the show later in my life, when my wife introduced me to it in our first year of marriage.  I remember so clearly watching every night in our one bedroom apartment, the episode that we had recorded that day on the VCR player, (if you have no idea what that is, consider yourself blessed!  Hahaha!)

One of my absolute favorite episodes is “Christmas at Plum Creek,” in which each member of the Ingalls family works hard, and makes great sacrifices in order to buy or make gifts for each other.  Though none of them has much money, they want to make the first Christmas in their new home a special celebration.  One of the repeated lines in the episode about Christmas coming, is that

“It is a time for secrets and not to ask questions.”

And my family and I even say that to each other as a result.  [ Spoiler Alert ] The part that gets me every time is when they are opening their presents and Caroline10 - Daily Dependence - Little House in the Prairie Opening Presents (Ma) is dying to know what is in the giant box next to her, (reminds me of the child-like anticipation and curiosity of my wife!)  Believing it is from Pa (Michael Landon), she is shocked to find out that it is actually from her little girl Laura, who sold her beloved horse “Bunny” so that she cold but the stove for her!   Every time, I chock up watching the sacrificial spirit of that act of love…which every time results my daughters laughing and regaling that “Daddy’s crying again!”  I cannot emphasis how great the show is.  Laura Ingalls Wilder penned this beautiful sentiment…

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.”

I so love that.  Before Christmas I challenge you to stream this episode and experience this tangible example of what the Spirit of Christmas is for yourself.  The Spirit of Christmas is not about getting stuff (as we looked at on ★ Day 04 – Reason for the Season – Christmas Consumerism ★,) but about finding ways to give to others.  Day 5 of the of 121 Advent Bible Plan said,

“The beauty of the hope ushered in through Christ and made alive in us through His Spirit, is that it gives us the ability to have abiding hope, that transcends earthly circumstances and uncertainty.”

One of the reasons that Christmas is so wonderful is because it’s the one time of year when people start to think of others less fortunate than themselves…whether it is buying presents to give to “Toys for Tots,” or serving in a soup kitchen for the homeless or some other form of community service.  Calvin Coolidge once said,

“To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.” 

That is the Spirit of Christmas to be the hands and feet of Jesus, spreading God’s love to those around you.

Last week while I was on a business trip to Indiana, I saw the Polar Express movie (from 2004) again. Every time I hear Josh Groban’s song “Believe,” it warms my heart because of the message it conveys. As I watched the climactic scene of Santa giving out the first gift of Christmas, he said something that just resonated with me…

10 - Daily Dependnece - Polar Express - The True Spirit of Christmas lies in your heart
“The true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart.”

And that is so true!!  Titus 3:4-0 (NIV1984) says,

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy.  He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

10 - Daily Dependence - Charles Dickens - Honor ChirstmasAs a result of Jesus’ sacrifice, when we accept Him as our savior we receive also the Holy Spirit which is the greatest gift ever!  I will close with this last thought…As we have been ruminating over these past 10 days, let’s do what Charles Dickens said in his classic novel, “A Christmas Carol”…

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all year.”

Let’s live with the Christmas Spirit in our hearts, not just on December 25 but for the other 364 days!

If you would like to see the next installment of our “25 Days of Thankfulness” series go here…★ Day 11 – Reason for the Season – Following Jesus Will Cost You ★

Or you can start from the beginning by ★ Clicking Here ★

#Daily Dependence - Reason for the Season - 25 Days of Thankfulness

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