Opinion: The importance of Christmas spirit


Credit: Jeffery Zhang

WSPN’s Jeffery Zhang discusses the meaning of Christmas and how important having Christmas spirit is to fully appreciating the holiday.

Jeffery Zhang

Assortments of bright lights and sparkling decorations plaster houses across the world. Radio stations broadcast merry holiday songs while stores showcase festive-themed items. It’s that time of year again when citizens across the U.S. are busy preparing for one of the biggest holidays in the world, Christmas. Why do people across the country always scramble to get into the “Christmas spirit?” I’ll tell you why. The Christmas spirit is what makes Christmas, Christmas.

The Christmas spirit isn’t just a singular thing. Some people think the Christmas spirit refers to a time when people should be kind, generous and charitable. The Christmas season is a time to be selfless and thoughtful toward others. It is more than just a feeling of obligation to be a good person. In fact, I think it’s somewhat strange how we’ve designated a specific month for us to be half-decent human beings. Nevertheless, that environment of kindness and thoughtfulness contributes to a connection of joyful memories and a desire to share those happy memories with others.

Now, why is the Christmas spirit such an important part of Christmas? For me, the memories of previous Christmases bring the most wonderful feeling of tranquility.

My earliest memory of Christmas was when I used to live in Shrewsbury. Flurries of snowflakes fell outside and the temperature was below freezing. Knowing how cold it was outside made the interior of my house that much more comforting and warm. I was around four-years-old at the time, sneaking down the stairs late the night on Christmas Eve. The larger than life wrapped box that sat underneath my tree will forever be embedded in my memory. That large wrapped box ended up being my first ever Christmas present. Inside it was a bright blue and orange nerf gun. The nerf gun wasn’t my most expensive or coolest gift, but it would end up being my favorite gift by a landslide.

Almost 10 years later, the memory of my nerf gun has stuck with me all my life. Why? Because of the Christmas spirit.

When I see Christmas trees or other festive decorations, it reminds me of that blue and orange plastic nerf gun and the many other memories I’ve made during the holiday. People scramble to get into the Christmas spirit because it’s about demonstrating the joy and excitement that they’ve gotten from Christmas. People put up trees and ornaments because when they see something festive, they’re reminded of the amazing memories while embracing the holiday spirit.

Presents are widely thought to be the best part of Christmas. After all, presents given during Christmas have immeasurable value. Not only because they’re gifts, but because they’re gifts given during the holidays from people you care about. That blue and orange nerf gun would mean nothing if it was just a normal toy. But I know that that nerf gun came with thoughtfulness, care, and selflessness, which is why presents would be nothing without the Christmas spirit.

Christmas is coming up soon, and maybe you’ve already started decorating your houses. There isn’t one singular way to prepare for the holiday, and you shouldn’t think of Christmas as a chore. Instead, get into the spirit by putting a smile on your face and carrying with you all of the happy memories that you’ve made.