How to Get Into the Christmas Spirit

edited December 2006 in General
Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love and goodwill to all. But with all the stress and commotion of the season, many of us end up feeling more like Mr. Scrooge than Santa Claus. Below is a little list of steps I compiled a while back when I was young and I like to share with us.


STEP 1: Shop early. Nothing takes away the Christmas spirit like fighting for parking and struggling through crowds.

STEP 2: Wish people that you meet in stores and other casual environments a happy holiday. Say it with a smile.

STEP 3: Drop spare coins in the Salvation Army collection buckets.

STEP 4: Do something nice for someone. Offer to baby-sit so a friend can do her Christmas shopping, take cookies to your neighbors, or shovel an elderly neighbor's walk if snow accumulated

STEP 5: Volunteer your time to a worthy holiday cause. Even if you are busy, you can spare an hour or two to help people less fortunate than yourself.

STEP 6: Organize a drive at work or in your neighborhood. Collect food and personal items and donate them to a local shelter for the homeless or for battered women.
STEP 7: Play Christmas music.

STEP 8: Watch Christmas movies. "It's a Wonderful Life" is a good one for reviving a flagging Christmas spirit, as is "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."

STEP 9: Read "A Christmas Carol" and "A Child's Christmas in Wales."

STEP 10: Decorate your house for the holidays.

STEP 11: Don't spend more money than you have. Anxiety over after-Christmas bills can ruin your holiday.

Tips & Warnings

The true holiday spirit is about love and kindness, not materialism and shopping. Do your best not to get caught up in the latter.

Merry Christmas to all brothers and sisters in MicSem Forum.


  • Saddam

    Thanks for the list and Merry Christmas to you and everyone in here!
    Now, if we could all just follow and do the things on that on year round basis this world would be a much better place for us all!
  • edited December 2006
    Hello, Saddam

    I hope you read my response to you on the "Challenge to District 5..." topic. Sounds like you're well on your way back to reclaiming your faith and giving hope to fellow sojourners. Congratulations.

    Hey, I had no idea you were the author of this list. I've seen it before either in a pamphlet (Salvation Army booklet maybe?) or on another website. Thanks for such thought-provoking reflections. Can you add more to your list on things for Micronesians to do in Micronesia especially my relatives in the outer island of Houk. You must have been born and raised in somewhere on the East Coast of the US as most of the things on the list you've compiled since your childhood seem to be directed at Americans who drive cars, live where it snows, shop at grocery stores (prime sites of Salvation Army buckets), have access to VCR's, know where the battered women shelters are, care to buy Christmas decorations etc. Heck, where I grew up I would have had no idea how to do these for Christmas let alone compile them for an audience without risking the fear of being labeled a plagiarist. But I commend and thank you on a fine list.

    Merry Christmas.
  • Vid,

    I will call the list Christmas "De-spirited" in that a growing number of our Micronesian brothers have lost their roots and confused their identity with "Americanism". Plagarism is definitely a sign of such lost as they could not think on their own feet let alone in a Micronesian context. Well I guess for us, we just have to march on our Micronesian way despite where we are physically and there and everywhere...the coconut movement with a Micronesian touch.
  • Rebel, here in the remote islands in Micronesia, especially the outer islands, we don't shop but rather wait for Santa Claus to come on the military plane dropping down gifts of many sorts. sometimes a candy is a big deal.kilisou chapur! apuapual christmas rel uputiwel jesus.
  • hmhm. well i dont see why vid has to be sounding so ungrateful when saddam is only suggesting a list of what to do not necessarily for you to follow. perhaps we shant forget that christmas "was" introduced to us by americans okay peoples?
  • edited December 2006
    Serepein en pohnpei,

    Ungrateful? Hardly. Just asking for more originality...more Micronesia-focused Christmas message... from such prolific author as...well, Saddam? Is that too much to ask in this Christmas season?

    With due respect, Christmas (as a Christian celebration) was not introduced to us my Americans. Rather it was forced upon our ancestors the day overzealous European missionaries (Catholic and Protestant alike) stepped foot on our soils accompanied by armed soldiers bearing flags of their kings and queens. Therefore, we can say it was introduced to us much earlier. Perhaps the blundering of this once holy celebration has been perfected by the commercialization of Christmas by the American culture the effects of which have found their way to our islands. Sadly, the foreign missionaries dishonored our indigenous cultures by failing to inculturate the Christmas celebration and the Christian faith for that matter. Instead, they forced the Euro-centric Christian celebrations on our ancestors under the guise of Christian love. Here we are 2006 and we're still reeling from that cultural genocide.

    Now, instead of celebrating Christmas within the context of our beautiful indigenous Chuukese, Pohnpeian, Yapese, Kosraean cultures, we simply bow yet again to foreign colonizers and capitalists by celebrating Christmas exactly as they do it in the US. Some of us even start compiling Christmas messages for Micronesian forumers based on American way of life instead of our own. Is it really being ungrateful if I'm merely asking for more island-centric ways for us as a people (wherever we are around the world) to respect our ancestors and reclaim our roots?
  • Vid, if it makes you feel any better, the annual celebration on the 25th of December originated with pagan beliefs and was adopted later by the then newly introduced christian religion. So you can still celebrate christmas and remain a pagan.....or a grouch.
  • It actually doesn't, but then I wasn't exactly looking for a therapeutic approach to understanding the holiday. I was merely correcting Serepein en pohnpei's assertion that Christmas was introduced to us by the Americans. Thanks for providing an even more deeper history of the celebration.
  • I must admit there's some merits in Sadam's list. I enjoyed reading it and I even smiled at the irony of it, especially imagining Saddam in his cell, with a short, short pencil and writing the list down on a piece of torn-off card-board box. Wouldnt that be the real Christmas if Sadam himself had written it?... an anarchist, dictator and murderer who is converted to Christian by the miracle of Christmas. Christmas is fine, except today, notice how we people have crossed the important reason for Christmas and ended up with this: X-mas. We have hexed out the Christ....the real soul behind Christmas...and kept the commercialism and politics of Christmas. Let us go back to the real purpose behind Christmas...and do not hex out the Christ anymore. Thanks
  • I am amazed at how critical a former student for priesthood speaks in here. to think that he is married to someone in the U.S. and living in the U.S., and yet, speaks out so negatively about outside influence in our islands . . . I don't know, something is not right with that picture.

    Vid, if you would like our people at home to be addressed on ways to have the Christmas spirit, why don't you add on to Saddam's list? Or if you do not believe in Christmas, would you please have respect for the ones who do and not speak so negatively about it?

    Many of us, globally, know the history of Christmas, yet, we choose to celebrate it as part of our faith. Others simply wish to join the celebration. What is wrong with that? Do you want us to follow what you want and believe in and disregard what we choose?

    Just wondering.
  • After reading this last posting by ate i must admit i was a little taken back by vid's comments regarding saddam's christmas list. I dont know who you are vid, but if it's true that you're a former student for priesthood and living in the U.S. married to someone there and criticizing saddam's simple christmas list, which i am sure was for the sole pupose of rousing our holiday spirits within and "give a lending hand to those less unfortunate", I must say that you sound like a hypocrite!

    Christmas is to celebrate the birth of christ. How a person celebrates christmas is entirely up to them. It doesn't have to be in a certain way with regards to their religion or someone else's religion. The day christ was born, marked the day for all us humans to "give" someone we love or cherish something meaningful. Whether it be love, a gift, spending time with them or lending a helping hand to someone less unfortunate, the list goes on....

    Stop sounding like a hypocrite, post your own so called micronesian christmas list. By the way vid, has it occurred to you that maybe your micronesian christmas list would differ from Yap to Chuuk to Pohnpei to Kosrae and all across the outer islands due to the fact that we are all different and may celebrate in different ways?

    I am sure you celebrate christmas or may have at some point in your life .

    Merry Christmas to all
  • image

    Merry Christmas to All
  • edited December 2006
    To ATE

    Wow, such hostility during this Christmas season. Relax, Santa! Obviously, you've missed the points. Please go back and re-read them...this time slowly. True, I could've added to Saddam's list to include Micronesian ways to get into the Christmas spirit. However, he seems to be doing well with such fine eloquent list for me and others living abroad. Give the man some respect and let him finish his own list. Besides, as you say being married out here in the States disqualifies me from writing a list for others living at home. Maybe you have some ideas to add to Saddam's list. Go for it.

    To BLOB

    I feel for you. Have some self-respect and paddle your own canoe. Obviously, you jumped on Ate's aimless canoe without doing your own reading and thinking. It only makes you look like a follower and not a leader. Respect yourself and speak for your own God-given mind and let Ate paddle his own empty canoe until it crashes on a reef. Peace to you.
  • Vid

    Dont feel for anybody, do it for yourself so you'll stop trashing someone else's good intentions. And dont ever mention self-respect because obviously you lack them which is why you still haven't made up a christmas list on your own ( so you feel like a leader ) but instead trash other people's good intentions so you feel better. psychology 101

    At this time of the year, one tries to be passive, loving, giving and so on but you seem determine to trash other's work simply because it didn't click with you or made you feel good for some reason, whatever your agenda may be i just want to wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS anyways!

  • Vid,

    My pal Vid, silence speaks louder than the mere words. So many plagarists come out the wood work during Xmas time. Capitalism operates finely at this time of the year and so relax and be yourself and not to be swayed by anybody who tries to engage you falsely.

    The Rebel yells!
  • Yapese Christmas

    1. Betelnut with leaves (1 bag or "bangun and chagar")
    2. Local basket with chew included (very popular among the married set)
    3. Fresh fish still dripping ocean water (a young man's gift to older persons)
    4. Basket of uncooked local foods (a young woman's gift to older persons)
    5. Local Chicken cooked in "withir" (preferably not stolen)
    6. A simple visit to the elderly person with a sack of rice and some canned meat.
    7. Prayers for the happiness and wellbeing of the person (must be sincere and exclusive to that person)
    8. A simple phone call to wish them well and see how they are.
    9. Taking your meal over to the house and sharing with them.
    10. (ur own ideas here, Im fresh out for now)

    How much money did I spend? As u can see, the bare minimum. How much thought and time for these things? Ten years of experience and being broke most of those ten years. The feeling of knowing you got closer to someone over the holidays and u did good? Priceless.
  • Thanks Sims,
    You 've just helped me realize that Christmas can be the happiest and most meaningful time and yet, the least expensive holiday on Yap. During Yap Day, most everything on your list are very expensive and the meaning of the celebration is distorted. I hope we can practise the virtues of giving, instead of selling during Yap Day too. Right now, I think Christmas is more a Micronesian- traditional holiday than Yap Day is, due to the acts of giving and social bonding. Compared with other holidays, X-mas is the least expensive holiday, for the State and it's financially poor citizens.

    Who made Yap Day a capitalist holiday anyway?
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