This Christmas Season

There are many bloggers out there that could probably put this more eloquently, but here is my effort to conceptualize what Christmas truly means.

If you were to ask random people on the street what they thought Christmas was really about what would they say? There’s been a tendency in our fast-paced modern society to speed through holidays and events with the same frantic attitude we sustain every other day of the year. Because of this, we often loose the opportunity to stop and reflect upon the true meaning of these special days.

Obviously even secular (nonreligious) sources point out the tendency for Christmas to become about gift-buying (not just giving) and seemingly endless activities and events that flood our calendars until we can’t breath let alone ponder their significance. Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas provides a welcome critique on how Christmas should not be about commercialism but about family and togetherness. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol also reminds us of our need to extend charity and love to our fellow men. Yet these wonderful stories fall short of the true meaning of Christmas.

If you’ve seen the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, you’ve heard Linus quote Luke 2:8-14.

Yet this is only the beginning of the Christmas story. The birth of Jesus is only the beginning of a story whose climax is here:

This is what Christmas is all about. Not about Jesus being born, but in the fact that He came as a baby to die for our sins.

“”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

‭‭(John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ NASB)

I sincerely hope you keep your heart on the true meaning of the season. Take time to reflect upon what this season means for our hearts and souls. Make time for family and for Jesus. Thank Him for what He has done. God bless you all and Merry Christmas!

-R. S. Gullett and family.

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What Christmas Really Means

There are many bloggers out there that could probably put this more eloquently, but here is my effort to conceptualize what Christmas really means.

Obviously even secular (nonreligious) sources point out the tendency for Christmas to become about presents and seemingly meaningless activities and events. Dr. Seuss’s How The Grinch Stole Christmas provides a welcome critique on how Christmas should not be about commercialism but about family and togetherness. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol also reminds us of our need to extend charity and love to our fellow men. Yet these wonderful stories fall short of the true meaning of Christmas.

If you’ve seen the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, you’ve heard Linus quote Luke 2:8-14.

Yet this is only the beginning of the Christmas story. The birth of Jesus is only the beginning of a story whose climax is here:

This is what Christmas is all about. Not about Jesus being born, but in the fact that He came as a baby to die for our sins. 

“”For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

‭‭(John‬ ‭3:16-17‬ NASB)

A Christmas Carol, Another Look

“Oh!  captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed.  Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness.  Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused!  Yet such was I!  Oh!  such was I!”  – The Ghost of Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol

One of Dickens’ most beloved tales and a personal favorite of mine, A Christmas Carol, is a relatively simplistic allegory and seldom considered one of Dickens’ important literary contributions. The importance of the tale lies in the emotional depth, descriptive narration, and endearing characters. The novella was written in 1843 with the intention of drawing attention to the plight of England’s poor. In the tale, Dickens combines a description of hardships faced by the poor with a sentimental celebration of the Christmas season. The calloused character of the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge, transforms into a generous and joyous individual after his confrontation with three spirits of Christmas.

The true message of the entire work can be found in the above quote, that there will always be those who need our help and that regret cannot make up for missed opportunities to extend aid or comfort to our fellow man. Every year I read this, I try to think of ways I can extend my faith and hope to others.

Though this novella was published over 170 years ago, the question remains: how can we help those less fortunate this Christmas?

This year:


Please help me help others. 

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(Much of this post was taken from an article I wrote for Clio’s Eye back in 2009. You can find the full text there)

Bibliography:

Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography, 1st ed. New York: Morrow, 1988. p 1- 607.

Gullett, Ryan. “A Christmas Carol-A History in Film.” Clio’s Eye. December 1, 2009. Accessed November 5, 2015. (Read More Here)

A Christmas Carol

“Oh!  captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed.  Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness.  Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunity misused!  Yet such was I!  Oh!  such was I!”  – The Ghost of Jacob Marley, A Christmas Carol

One of Dickens’ most beloved tales and a personal favorite of mine, A Christmas Carol, is a relatively simplistic allegory and seldom considered one of Dickens’ important literary contributions. The importance of the tale lies in the emotional depth, descriptive narration, and endearing characters. The novella was written in 1843 with the intention of drawing attention to the plight of England’s poor. In the tale, Dickens combines a description of hardships faced by the poor with a sentimental celebration of the Christmas season. The calloused character of the penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge, transforms into a generous and joyous individual after his confrontation with three spirits of Christmas.

The true message of the entire work can be found in the above quote, that there will always be those who need our help and that regret cannot make up for missed opportunities to extend aid or comfort to our fellow man. Every year I read this, I try to think of ways I can extend my faith and hope to others.

Though this novella was published over 170 years ago, the question remains: how can we help those less fortunate this Christmas?

(Much of this post was taken from an article I wrote for Clio’s Eye back in 2009. You can find the full text here)

Bibliography:

Kaplan, Fred. Dickens: A Biography, 1st ed. New York: Morrow, 1988. p 1- 607.

Gullett, Ryan. “A Christmas Carol-A History in Film.” Clio’s Eye. December 1, 2009. Accessed November 5, 2015. (Read More Here)