The True Meaning of Christmas

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
The True Meaning of Christmas

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Christmas giftToday is Christmas Day and for those of you that celebrate, a very Merry Christmas to you.  But even if you do not celebrate per se, I hope you are spending the day with family and friends and sharing the spirit of the season with loved ones.

I thought it would useful today touch upon the true meaning of Christmas.  For some, Christmas is a religious event tied to the nativity while for others, it is a time for simply sharing our fondness for each other by exchanging gifts.  And yet for others – myself included – it is a time for reflection on the year that is waning with a forward look to our goals and aspirations for the new year.

The True Meaning of Christmas

Here is how Wikipedia describes the true meaning of Christmas:

The “true meaning of Christmas” is a phrase with a long history in American pop culture.

It first appears in the mid-19th century, and is often given vaguely religious overtones, suggesting that the “true meaning of Christmas” is the celebration of the Nativity of Christ.  But in pop culture usage, overt religious references are mostly avoided, and the “true meaning” is taken to be a sort of introspective and benevolent attitude as opposed to the commercialization of Christmas which has been lamented since at least the 1850s.

The poem A Visit From St. Nicholas (1822) helped popularize the tradition of exchanging gifts, and seasonal Christmas shopping began to assume economic importance. Harriet Beecher Stowe criticizes the commercialization of Christmas in her story “Christmas; or, the Good Fairy”.

An early expression of this sentiment using the phrase of “the true meaning” is found in The American magazine, vol. 28 (1889):

“to give up one’s very self — to think only of others — how to bring the greatest happiness to others — that is the true meaning of Christmas”

I don’t know about you, but I really like this last explanation.

What Does it Mean To You?

I encourage you to leave a comment below describing your version of the “true meaning of Christmas”. What an interesting way to see what it means to others in the Backdoor Survival community!

The Final Word

I was sincere when I said at the onset that for me, this day is a time for reflection on the year that is almost over.   It is also a time to think about the new year and setting personal goals that will give me both something to look forward to and the optimism to soldier on in spite of the burden of knowledge that weighs so heavily on so many of us these days.

But not today.  Today is about friendship and love and to that, I raise my glass in a toast to you.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Bargain Bin: If you have some holiday cash burning a hole in your pocket, consider some of my personal picks.

Rothco Medium Transport Pack You already know how much I like this pack. It is comfortable to carry, even for someone on the small side like me. Plus, it holds an incredible amount of stuff.

Howard Leight R-03318 Leightning L3 Shooter’s Premium Earmuff: Right now I just have a cheap set from Harbor Freight. Before I hit the range in January, I am getting a set of these muffs. The reviews are amazing.

Fiskars Power Grip Hand Drill: According to my Amazon reports, this hand drill is becoming a big favorite of Backdoor Survival readers.

TETON Sports Mammoth Sleeping Bag: I just purchased one of these sleeping bags but it has not arrived yet.  I an very excited to give it a try – looks so snuggly with enough room from me, the Survival Husband, Tucker the Dog and our favorite defensive weapon.

Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: One of my favorites, If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.

Lodge Logic 12-Inch Pre-Seasoned Skillet: This purchase changed the way I cook. I se my cast iron cookware for everything from salmon, to bacon and eggs, to biscuits. Don’t forget the Lodge Set of 2 Pan Scrapers, a must have for cleaning those food bits from your cast iron cookware.

Presto 16-Quart Aluminum Pressure Cooker/Canner: This smaller pressure canner fits nicely under an over-the-range microwave over. This is replacing the 23 quart version that was too tall for my range. Becoming a canning maven is on my 2013 to-do list.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Knife: This “oh so sweet” knife is solidly built, stainless steel knife that comes razor sharp right out of the package. It will pretty much cut through anything the price is amazing. (Newcomers to my website take heed: I love this knife!)

Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight: This small and super-bright light, features a high-intensity, 100,000-hour LED that will last up to eight hours on four alkaline button cell batteries which are included.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: For December, Emergency Essentials has a special sale on Freeze-Dried Chicken Breast Dices. The price is $27.99 which is 34% off the regular price of $42.95. Other specials include these favorites:

Red Feather Butter – $6.49
Shortening Powder – $3.79
Cinnamon Apple Slices – $6.49
Gamma Seal Lids – $6.49 (great to use with those free buckets, right?)

Now I know there are a lot of diehard Emergency Essentials fans out there but I also want to ask you to consider Legacy food products from Preparewise. Not only are they 100% GMO free, but they are lower in sodium, have fewer artificial ingredients and just taste good. More on that later – just wanted to give you a heads up and a link if you want to give them a try.

Oh, and by the way, shipping is always 100% free. One of my favorites is the Legacy Foods “Beans & Rice Enchilada” meal. Soooo good.

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20 Responses to “The True Meaning of Christmas”

  1. The true meaning of Christmas lies in its origin – the birth of the babe who was God in flesh, who gave his life for us.

  2. Thank you, Gaye, for all your insights, advice, and just plain old hard work. YOU are the definition of Christmas. All year long you give to others, expecting nothing in return. THAT, My Dear, is Christmas. May 2013 bring you and Survivor Hubby everything you need and nearly everything you desire.

  3. If it takes a single day of the year to reflect on how one can make other happy then you’re doing it wrong (YDIW!). the crass commercialization aside, Christmas ought to be an attitude that’s carried throughout the year, not just when the fat man comes down the chimney to spread a bounty.

  4. God gave us His Son. What sacrificial love. Give love not just to family but to strangers too as in monetarily or with your time like at a nursing home on Christmas or at a soup kitchen. Those are some very easy ways to show love as Christ did so much more.

  5. For my family Christmas means more than just a day. We start out Christmas events seven days before and continue through New Years. To suit is a time for togetherness , a time to let worries go away, a time to reflect on how thankful we are for everyone and thing in our lives. We spend time together doing tons of different things during this time. It is our time of the year that all of us are able to stop and enjoy each others company without all the hustle and bustle that comes with our daily lives. It is all about surrounding ourselves with the ones we lo e.

  6. In the Holy Word (Bible) I recall it saying “Love your neighbor as yourself”, Matthew 22:36-40.
    Merry Christmas ! an please remember Jesus, is the reason for the season!

  7. Reflecting, as you, on the personal wealth aquired by helping others, being the best possible person to everyone. I dislike how it has become focused on gifts you buy, when your personal giving is the best gift. All year long.

  8. Christmas must begin and end with Christ in our hearts, every single day of the year. It is only in this way that we learn that He was the example and we must selflessly reach out to our fellow creatures, human and otherwise. For the greatest gift of all that we can give is as exemplified by Christ; it is ourselves. Our love, our talents, our time, our generosity, all of it, must be surrendered into His will to serve His creation, our fellow beings.

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