Christmas Exercises

It is safe to say that Christmas, at least as far as our society is concerned is no longer a religious holiday. Traditionally, of course, it has been a Christian celebration; currently, it is an orgy of commercialism and one-upsmanship. That’s a shame because Christian or not, we could all use a day on which we focus on the spiritual side of life. We all have faith for the same reason that we all eat and breathe. It’s what we do, but as we have fed our appetites for temporal pleasures and the desire to accumulate as much stuff as our credit will allow, we have starved our spiritual side. We are, I’m afraid, a weak and sickly people because of this starvation and so we are going to have to take baby steps on the road to recovery, a road that we will travel sooner or later. Allow me to suggest two little exercises to be practiced on Christmas Day and if you’re not too sore the day after, then keep exercising until you are able to run along that spiritual path.

First, reach out to other people by being patient. Be patient with the kids, the old folks, the ones who are cooking the Christmas meal even if the turkey is a bit dry and you hate sweet potato casserole; be patient with the ones waiting for dinner who don’t come to the table “until this next play is over”; be patient with your friends and with strangers, even the stranger who drives like a total jackass and not even a jackass who understands what the word yield means; be patient with yourself because you didn’t mean to overcook the turkey.

Second, when you hand out the gifts you bought, do so without thinking about yourself. Don’t think about how much you paid or how big it is or what the label says. Hand them out and think, “Here; this is because you mean something to me.” Better yet, hand them out and say “Here; this is because you mean something to me.” And when you receive a gift, do so without thinking about yourself. Don’t wonder how much the giver paid or if it’s the right size or that the right name isn’t on the label. Receive it with gratitude that you mean something to somebody.

Maybe these two little exercises won’t make much of a difference in the big scheme of things, but I suspect that if we each did our tiny little part and then added up all those tiny parts, we just might affect the Big Scheme of Things. What else can we do? Surely, we need to do something.

Merry Christmas, everyone. May it be a special day for all.

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About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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10 Responses to Christmas Exercises

  1. Don Hoover says:

    Austin,
    First, let me offer you & your family a very Merry Christmas. Second, you are right on the money. We continue to live the way we do at Christmas or other wise, because we have forgotten the greatest gift given to us, more than 2000 years ago. Until we realize that without the Savior, all of life is all about us. Thank you for putting Christmas in perspective, & may 2013 be the year that God is put back in our hearts, our schools, & every area of our lives.

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  2. Wise words from a wise man. BTW – what is myrrh anyway?
    Happy Merry my friend.
    DBS

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  3. Oh, yes, and you might enjoy/remember the following:
    http://deadballbaseball.com/?p=1880

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  4. Larry Bryant says:

    Amen Austin…very well stated. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Have a wonderful New Year!

    Larry

    On Sunday, December 23, 2012, Austin Gisriel wrote: > Austin Gisriel posted: “It is safe to say that Christmas, at least as far as our society is concerned is no longer a religious holiday. Traditionally, of course, it has been a Christian celebration; currently, it is an orgy of commercialism and one-upsmanship. Thats a shame b” >

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  5. Bonnie Lane says:

    Austin….so very well said and so true. The spiritual side of life seems to be so lacking these days. Merry, merry Christmas to you and your family. We feel blessed in knowing you and your dear wife.

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