During WWI one of the last acts of chivalry on the battlefield occurred on Christmas Day in 1914. At daybreak, German soldiers in English called out “Merry Christmas”. The Allied Troops were concerned it was a ploy by the Germans to distract and attack until the Germans climbed out of the trenches unarmed and approached the Allied troops. The enemies exchanged gifts of cigarettes, plum pudding, and sang Christmas carols. Sadly, they also used this time to gather up their fallen comrades. For a brief time, they forgot the war and concentrated on giving, caring and sharing.
To me that story epitomizes the Christmas Spirit. It seems that over time the true meaning of Christmas – giving, sharing and caring has been obscured by commercialism, and the true reason for the season, Christ’s birth, is politically incorrect.
Even Santa Claus has been turned into someone who brings gifts and has both adults and children focused on their wants. Yet Santa Claus was a real man who according to legend was St. Nicholas. He was wealthy and sold all his earthly goods so that he could help the poor and sick.
This holiday season, we can do just as those WWI soldiers did and put aside our differences and chose to give and to care for one another. Giving comes in many forms – being kind or lending a listening ear. It can also be donating to a worthy cause or helping a family member in need. We have endless opportunities to give.
Our example of giving comes directly from Heaven itself – Jesus who is the reason for the season. His earthly birth was a gift from God, and Jesus gave to mankind the ultimate sacrifice – his life for ours. So in the true spirit of Christmas we should emulate our Lord and give to others without thought to ourselves and our wants – just as He gave to us.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6