Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Capturing the Spirit of Christmas

Ever have one of those Christmas seasons where you just can't quite capture the Spirit of Christmas?  I have.  Thankfully not this year.

But, if this is you right now, I have a recommendation:  Read Dickens A Christmas Carol.  No, a movie isn't sufficient.  Especially, the chapter in Stave III with the Cratchit Christmas.  Nothing gets me feeling the true Spirit of Christmas more quickly.  My family tries to read it every year.  We are a little behind this year and just read the Cratchit Christmas last night.  We'll finish the rest of the story today.  So good.

I love that the Cratchit's barely have their basic physical needs met (ala Maslow's hierarchy of needs) but within their own family they have such an abundance of the top 3 levels of needs that they are bursting with happiness and joy.  It reminds me like, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, that "Christmas doesn't come from a store" and isn't about stuff.  It means "a little bit more".

My family has a list of music, stories, and music that helps us capture the Spirit of Christmas.  Here are some of our favorites:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Luke 2 in the Bible
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell
The Little Shepherd by Don J. Black
The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean
Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Any Christmas Album by the Mormon Tabernacle (MOTAB) Choir
MOTAB and Sissel Christmas Special
Sarah McLachlan's Christmas Album, Wintersong
Any Christmas Album by Mannheim Steamroller
David Archuleta's Christmas Album, Christmas From the Heart
Any version of Gabriel's Oboe
Mercy Me's Christmas Album, The Christmas Sessions
Jars of Clay Christmas Album, Christmas Songs
We find new music we love every year.  Spotify has quite a selection and we add to our Christmas play list frequently.

A Sesame Street Christmas
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (classic version)
Miracle on 34th Street (we love the newer version)
Rick Steve's European Christmas

To all my friends and family who are celebrating Christmas, Merry Christmas, may you feel the true joy that comes with the Spirit of Christmas.  If you are celebrating another holiday this season, I pray you are feeling the full joy and Spirit of your celebration.

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