For many people, the holidays represent their religious beliefs and core values of who we are. Christmas in particular is the story of Jesus Christ and his birth. We use this holiday of faith as a way to celebrate our loved ones and all that has been accomplished throughout the year. Even those not very religious still celebrate these holidays as tradition, because it represents celebration and love for them.
However, people who believe in something other than themselves, an entity bigger than us all, may have a bigger belief that we, as well as things we can’t control, contribute to an orchestration of events within our individual lives. These events can be positive or negative, and involve others or no one. It is mainly things that we cannot control due to a higher power. For those who believe in something bigger, those who believe in that higher power, the holidays mean something very different for them. So how do faith, spirituality, religion, and the universe play a part in our lives? And how is that reflected during the holiday season?
How Faith and Spirituality Play a Role in the Current Holiday Season
The origins of Christmas are based on a Christian holiday. Christians celebrate this day as the birth of Jesus, son of God, on the day December 25h. In the 4th century, church officials decided to start celebrating the birth of Jesus. Around this time, the Roman Emperor, Constantine, converted to Christianity. The Romans originally celebrated Saturnalia, a winter festival that took place in late December. As a part of this week-long celebration, they also gave each other gifts. Due to the Romans having mighty influence around this time, and their emperor converting to Christianity, a lot of their customs were absorbed into the celebrations of Christmas. Thus, our traditions of Christmas celebrations were born.
How do Faith, Spirituality, and Religion Play a Role For You?
Spirituality can be defined as something that gives meaning to one’s life and draws one to transcend themselves that in essence needs to be practiced in our stressful day to day busy lives. Expression of spirituality can include meditation, prayer, and the practice of having an intimate relationship with God or a higher entity. For some individuals, this might involve following a particular religion. For others, this can mean believing in something greater than themselves, being mindful, and taking the time to meditate on ideas and how to use these ideas for applicable purposes to be the best version of yourself on-going. .
People who exercise a faith based know that we are not always supposed to be in total control. A bigger entity, some form of higher power, is aligned with our life. Some call this fate, some call it the cosmos, and some adhere to it as faith. Regardless of your spirituality, the concept is that because we are not always in control, things happen for a reason. Things that are good, bad, or indifferent that we cannot explain or justify. These events or situations bring a balance to our lives and provide us with a serendipitous outlook on life that can be reflected in our holiday celebrations.
In What Ways Do We Show Gratitude and Appreciation for People?
Although faith and spirituality can translate to our day to day, what does it mean for our loved ones during the holiday season? How does your faith orchestrate for you during this time of year?
It can be different for everyone, even those who do not associate the holidays with a particular religion or faith. But for most, showing gratitude and appreciation for the unplanned events that led them to this very moment, is shown through love. That can mean praying over their loved ones, cooking them a special meal, or giving them a fabulous gift.
At the end of the day, no matter your spirituality, the holidays are meant to spread love and joy, and we must remember the true meaning of the holidays as we conclude this year.
Happy holidays from Vecc and Associates!
Source: Dhruti Bhagat (2018) The Origins and Practices of Holidays: Christmas
Source: Ansley Booker (2020) Embrace Religious Diversity This Holiday Season