Friday, December 06, 2013

Christmas Spirit


Christmas Spirit

It is late autumn and not even Winter in the Northern Hemisphere as of yet.

This will be a somewhat subjective and speculative written philosophical post, but I reason here in Metropolitan Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, Christmas season begins sooner than when I was a child in Elementary School and when I attended Secondary School.

As I remember back in the 1980s and 1990s, the cultural and commercial Christmas season began in Canada at approximately December 1 and went until after January 1, when the next regular work and school days occurred.

Christmas lights, which I have always liked as far back as I can remember, along with Christmas art, as I appreciate the bright, brilliant colours, visual contrast and positive, hopeful message, appeared on the scene, approximately between December 1 and December 15. These lights stayed up until in many cases after January 1, when the next regular work and school days began.

The last few years I observe that from November 1 to November 15, Christmas lights are beginning to be displayed publicly.

Although the number of lights overall in this metropolitan area still increase in December.

I am not certain if the Canadian Christmas advertisements begin earlier than they did in the 1980s and 1990s, as that would take in-depth knowledge of advertising,  but I know that when November 1 arrives, so does Christmas as a commercial venture.

And it appears it begins culturally as well.

I discussed this issue with a local friend and he agrees that Christmas season is beginning earlier than in the 1980s and 1990s. He reasons it is mainly because of greater commercialism.

I think that commercialization is an aspect of the reason, and as well greater public saturation with the season through the media, but I wonder if greater spiritual hunger by many is a larger part of the reason.

Specifically in regard to public Christmas lights being displayed earlier and longer.

Even since the 1980s and 1990s this area of Canada, the rest of Canada and the Western World, in general has become even less Christian and more secular, based on cultural and societal attitudes. Perhaps with for example, less marriages, divorce and the decline of the family unit, there is more individual isolation than there was even just a few decades ago.

By celebrating Christmas longer, for some over two months, if from November 1 to past January 1, at the extreme, some persons locally and perhaps throughout the Western World are trying to for the most part sub-consciously create a spiritual connection with others in humanity which does not exist most of the time, most of the year.

The Christmas spirit.

The more society declines, the greater the spiritual need for some type of positive opposition to the decline.

On the positive side, it is good that such a Christmas spirit exists in a primarily secular Western World.

I certainly favour good will toward humanity over bad will toward humanity.

Christmas also has its Christian background, obviously celebrating the birth of Christ at this traditionally chosen season.

Christmas is a very good Christian celebration and witnessing opportunity.

On the negative side, it is sad that many persons sub-consciously have the desire and need to extend the Christmas season because perhaps in the other ten to eleven months, life is not significantly spiritual.

From a Biblical Christian perspective, a Christian is regenerated (John 3, Titus 3: 5-7).  There is a renewed spiritual connection to other persons, primarily to those in the Church, but also to those outside in witness, both in love, although in a fallen world this does not take place near perfectly.

More importantly there is a spiritual connection to the triune God of the New Testament based on the atoning and resurrection work of Christ applied to those God chooses and therefore believe. Regeneration takes place which is a powerful change in the human being via the Holy Spirit, which transforms one corrupt and in sin in opposition to God, to one pleasing to God and trusting in God. It is a new ‘vital principle, a new habit, the law of God, and a divine nature’ are framed in a human heart. Murray (1937-1966)(1977: 167-172).

This is a divinely inspired spiritual life that is year round in comparison to seasonal Christmas spirit a type of Christian spirit.

Christmas spirit or a Christian spirit has its divine connection but can also be largely secular.

A New Testament model spiritual life is far superior to Christmas spirit. It has greater value.

MURRAY, JOHN (1937-1966)(1977) Collected Writings of John Murray, Vol. 2: Select Lectures in Systematic Theology, Edinburgh, The Banner of Truth Trust.

Christmas Spirit relates to a recent article and post:



Russell Norman Murray said...

The Markham NHL style arena deal may fall through as the businessmen involved could not receive tax payer support from Markham.

I reason Markham was correct as it is should be a private funded venture.

I have also read that the businessmen involved have credibility issues.

As well, as I have mentioned, the National Hockey will not likely, any time soon in this era, grant a second team to Southern Ontario, Greater Montreal or Greater Vancouver, if there were arenas built or under consideration.

I disagree with those online and the League that state that more League growth would take place in non-traditional markets.

A second franchise in a traditional large market can convert many casual fans to significant fans. Perhaps these casual fans do not like the established club, or it is a different part of the metropolitan area, for example.

One just needs to look at UEFA and the NFL for examples of how doubling up in large markets creates significant fans of each club that would not necessarily be significant fans of the other club. Central Manchester City and Trafford Manchester United being good examples. They are in different areas, City having more of a blue collar base, United being more mixed.

A non-traditional market has less cultural connections to the sport of hockey and therefore has less potential for significant fans per capita because it has also less casual fans, per capita.

Russell Norman Murray said...

I originally only meant to type in Christmas spirit, not Christian spirit, but with the edit there was error.

I then thought about it and reason that a Christian spirit is not the same as being guided by the Biblical God spiritually. Christian spirit could indeed be related to Christmas spirit as a religious, cultural Christian way of celebrating. So, I kept the idea, clarifying. Christmas spirit under the umbrella of Christian spirit.

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Russell Norman Murray said...

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Anonymous said...

Christmas season starts too early, I'm tired of commercials and stores promoting sales, it revolves around money, something essential is being lost.....the Christ child!
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Russell Norman Murray said...


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James Leasure said...

Hi Russ,
If you don't mind my posting this link, lest I should forget when nearing the bottom of this post, the link is to a Christmas blog. The fella does a great job of keeping his blog fresh with a variety.
It is:
I'll be back to comment on the blog post here

James Leasure said...

Commercialization of Christmas is very much the reason for lights coming up sooner than later.
It is out of place. However, I believe we will see this trend when our countries' economic status is ill. Just another gimmick to move the economy. However, it is generic and forces a larger problem later.

Russell Norman Murray said...

'Commercialization of Christmas is very much the reason for lights coming up sooner than later.'

I do not disagree, but do not think it is the only reason.

Perhaps the commercialization assists in pushing people toward the desire of the Christmas spirit, as in influence and shows the lack of Biblical spirituality in life. People are motivated to meet needs even if misplaced and the commercial nature of the event demonstrates spiritual wanting.

Thanks, Jim

Russell Norman Murray said...

Thanks, Jim, pageviews have really picked up this month on both blogs.

Hopefully I am still learning the balance between Biblical integrity and entertainment.