How often do we hear everyone’s opinion on “the true meaning of Christmas?” Not just from philosophers, priests and other ministers of faith, but from family, friends and Facebook? My guess would be at least once a day between December 1 and December 25. And yet, who really knows what the true meaning of Christmas is for anyone else?
I am only sure of what this holiday means to me. My Christmas is blessed if I am surrounded by my family and am able to connect with dear friends to let each one know how much they’re loved and what they mean to me.
The holidays can bring out the best in all of us; unexpected gifts delivered by neighbors, homemade cookies that magically arrive at your desk wrapped with bright ribbon, strangers passing on the street wishing each other “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays.” We reach out with open arms and become connectors during this season.
What is a connector? First coined by Malcom Gladwell in his pivotal book The Tipping Point, “Connectors are…the social equivalent of a computer network hub. They usually know people across an array of social, cultural, professional and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles. They are people who link us up with the world…people with a special gift for bringing the world together.”
Why do some of us reach out to include many more acquaintances in this short season, only to return to introverted behavior for the other eleven months of the year? Do we experience some natural calling to care for the disadvantaged as we shop for dozens of family gifts? Do we really bond with our neighbors while hanging outdoor lights on trees and windows? Does watching It’s A Wonderful Life together for the 23rd time really touch our hearts?
I believe the answer to all of these questions is “Yes.” Entire religions are built on the premise of sharing such rituals together and they only strengthen the relationships you treasure.
So, this holiday season, I invite you to join me. Be the connector in your circle of life. Share the true spirit of Christmas – now and every day of the year.
Wishing you and all your connections a peaceful and loving holiday.
“And so this is Christmas…and what have you done?” – John Lennon