This is a guest post I wrote for Tall Blonde Tales, originally posted on her blog on December 8, 2021.
I am not a Christian, and I was not raised in the church. Instead, I was brought up to have a general faith in “God,” or “A Higher Power,” or “A Power Greater Than Ourselves.” It was all kept pretty general and very open to interpretation. And even though I don’t have a background in Christianity, I still find this holiday to be so incredibly spiritual for me. And without fail, on the Eve of Christmas, every year, I feel such altruism in my heart.
My concept of God has evolved over the years, and I appreciate my family’s openness and acceptance of this. My twin sister and I were left to decide for ourselves whatever kind of faith we wanted to adopt. And I suppose my family would have been supportive, albeit confused, if we decided to go full-on atheist. Although that never felt right for me. These days, I pray to The Goddesses more than any other entity. Although, I still always check in with my angels and my guides, who are always there to help.
You might enjoy my article, “My Experience With Spirit Guide Communication.”
ALTRUISM REGARDLESS OF FAITH OR RELIGION
However, I don’t believe anyone needs to have faith or religion in order to feel altruism in his or her heart. And that is the beauty of this holiday. And the beauty of the entire month of December, for that matter. Altruism abounds during the month of December, and I feel taken in its arms, swooning with love, as soon as November comes to a close. And all of my altruistic feelings continue to build as we move closer to the Eve of Christmas.
For me, the Eve of Christmas is so much more magical than Christmas Day itself.
I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because by the time Christmas morning rolls around, the presents are already opened. And our big breakfast ends up in our bellies faster than it took to make it. The build-up is just over too soon. And there is actually always a bit of sadness for me on Christmas Day. Even though there is still lots of merriness and cheer. But I think the magic is in the weeks and days leading up to that final day. And the Eve of Christmas is when the momentum reaches full capacity. On this day, I feel so full with aching love, and giving, and anticipation.
My related article, “Reindeer Magic, Part I: Claire” is honestly one of my all-time favorite blog posts that I’ve ever written!
THE TALE OF EBENEZER SCROOGE
I think something that also makes the Eve of Christmas so magical for me is a movie that I watch every December 24th. I know we all have our magical movies that we watch to get in the holiday spirit. And for me, that movie is Scrooged (1988) with Bill Murray. It’s a modern-day Christmas Carol movie that’s mostly filled with humor. However, there are so many deep and meaningful components to this storyline. And even though Bill Murray is a comedian at his core, his ability to go deep is so apparent in this film. In my opinion, this movie is one of the greatest performances of his career. And his speech at the end of this movie, brings me to tears every time.
CHRISTMAS EVE SPEECH FROM SCROOGED
“It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be. It’s a… miracle. It’s really a sort of a miracle. Because it happens every Christmas Eve. And if you waste that miracle, you’re gonna burn for it, I know what I am talking about.
You have to do something, you have to take a chance. You do have to get involved. There are people that are having trouble making their miracle happen. There are people that don’t have enough to eat, or people that are cold. You can go out and say hello to these people. Or you can take an old blanket out of the closet and say “Here!” You can make them a sandwich and say “Oh, by the way, here!” I get it now!
And if you give, then it can happen, then the miracle can happen to you! It’s not just the poor and the hungry, it’s everybody’s who’s gotta have this miracle! And it can happen tonight for all of you! If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow. You won’t be one of these bastards who says “Christmas is once a year and it’s a fraud”, it’s NOT! It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling. And if you like it and you want it, you’ll get greedy for it! You’ll want it every day of your life and it can happen to you!
I believe in it now! I believe it’s going to happen to me now! I’m ready for it! And it’s great. It’s a good feeling, it’s really better than I’ve felt in a long time. I’m ready. Have a Merry Christmas, everybody.”-Bill Murray, Scrooged
Reading the words does not do this speech justice, and I recommend everyone check out the clip from the movie.
GATHERING WITH FRIENDS ON THE EVE OF CHRISTMAS
For whatever reason, the holiday season also seems to motivate everyone to spend time together. It’s not like we as human beings never want to spend time with our loved ones. But when we’re living life and doing our thing, so many other things can take priority over visits with loved ones. It shouldn’t be that way, but it often is. However, during the holiday season, it’s like the entire world makes more of an effort to do the things they love, with the people they love.
For me, one of my favorite parts of December 24th is an annual gathering of close friends at my twin sister’s home. We also all bring our partners to this brunch. And this is the one holiday of the year when we all gather together, getting to know each other a bit more than we did the year before. We get dressed up, open presents, and play some silly games. We also all pitch in to make delicious food. My sister always makes an incredible quiche. My friend Matt always makes delicious roasted veggies. And I typically always bring some kind of sweet treat that I want people to lose their minds over. Our last in-person gathering was in 2019, and for that occasion I made Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies. These things are crazy packed with sugar, coffee, and TONS of rich chocolate! People kept saying they were only going to have a little, and then kept coming back for more!
I’m the one on the far right, trying to be some kind of Christmas spider??!! Or something…
I KNOW, I KNOW
I know that the Christmas holiday has its flaws, at least in the United States. And I know that this holiday has become more about capitalism and consumerism than altruism. There are so many conflicts and issues that many people have with this holiday, and I understand. But I also kind of don’t care. I mean, of course, I care. But not enough to change my feelings about this holiday.
I suppose for me, the specialness of this holiday has to do with tradition. We all form memories around this holiday from a very early age. And my heart truly breaks for those who never had very much to celebrate on this day. Children grow up without families, or enough food. And for many, the holiday season just feels like a time of re-living past traumas. Which is why I do think practicing altruism during this time of year is so very important. Of course, we should be practicing altruism, at all times, all throughout the year. But, it doesn’t always happen. And that’s why I love how this holiday season reminds us of the importance of kindness, love, forgiveness, and patience.
BE KIND TO EVERYONE YOU COME INTO CONTACT WITH. SMILE AT A STRANGER, JUST BECAUSE!
IF YOU CAN SPARE IT, DONATE, DONATE, DONATE DURING THIS TIME OF YEAR. THERE ARE SO MANY IN NEED, AND NO ONE WANTS TO GO HUNGRY OR HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE THEIR CHILDREN AROUND THE HOLIDAYS.
TAKE YOURSELF OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE FOR THE LOVE OF OTHERS.
TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE FEELING HAPPY. IF YOU ARE DRAINED OR MISERABLE, YOU WILL HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE YOUR LOVED ONES.
BE OPEN TO RECEIVING WITHOUT APOLOGIES OR EXCUSES! ONE OF MY FAVORITE PARTS OF THE HOLIDAY IS GIVING GIFTS TO OTHERS. SO, SOMEONE ELSE MIGHT BE GETTING SO MUCH JOY FROM GIVING TO YOU. LET THEM!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS
How do you spend your Eve of Christmas? What traditions do you enjoy? And if you don’t celebrate Christmas, do you celebrate another holiday during this time? Please tell me about it! I wish you all so much health, and love, and joy, and peace during this holiday season. xo
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Featured photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Winter night photo by guille pozzi on Unsplash
Scrooged image obtained from here
Gift photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash