It’s that time of year again. December has come and with it all the joys of Christmas. That I said Joys? I thought Christmas was canceled this year, do we have any good reasons to celebrate? What is the real meaning of Christmas?

Breathe deeply, good job.

Because I did not fly much in the last coupe of weeks, I end up writing this words looking to the world from my office window, at a ground level altitude to be more precise, and at a ground level the world seems a pretty scary place to be at the moment.

Breathe deeply…one more time, lets continue.

When we think the amount of bad, depressing and negative news reached a new low record, another terror attack or a disturbing warning from Mother nature throw us back into pre-depressive stage and I wonder, how can I gather the family tonight and share with them the joy of Christmas?   

But what is the real meaning of Christmas?

Is it the gifts under the tree, the lights in the windows, the cards in the mail, turkey dinners with family, snow (real of artificial) in the yard, stockings hanging in the living room, and shouts of “Merry Christmas” to your friends? Is this really Christmas?

An early expression about “the true meaning of Christmas” is especially associated with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (1843), in which an old miser is taught the true meaning of Christmas.

The book tells the story of a bitter old man named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

Having myself the experience to play the role of Scrooge a long time ago in a school play, I still remember few key words : ”to give up one’s very self — to think only of others — to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas”.

I hope by now, you start breathing better, lets continue.

What does it mean to give up one´s very self? How precisely we can turn this into actions and moments of our life?

30 years ago, my Mother took me on a walk just before midnight on Christmas eve. From all nights that was probably the one I wished the most to stay at home, warm and cosy surrounded by family, presents and favourite cakes.

We went together around our block, a long enough distance to understand that for some people the Joy of Christmas was cold, humid and bitter. Armed with love and a couple of bags with food we share a little comfort to the homeless sleeping under the cardboard boxes.

No matter your religion, belief or disbelief, if you look carefully around you, you will find plenty of opportunities to bring the greatest happiness to others, and turn your “inner Scrooge” into a shining soul.

From my initial reluctance and selfishness I saw my heart transforming in every step on our route, and in the end arriving back home to rejoin the rest of the family, I had most likely the best Christmas of my life.

Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind and my mind tells me that Christmas its on!

When you give yourself, you win yourself.

So tell me…what will be your gift this Christmas ?