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The Spirit of Christmas 2000

Up until now, we may have only seen the year 2000 as the biggest New Year’s Eve in a 1,000 years. I believe soon we will see A.D. 2000 as the most meaningful Christmas in 2,000 years. claims Jay Gary.

Christmas 2000It is the original Christmas event, the birth of the Christ Child, that lies at the heart of all millennium celebrations. Instead of the Christmas season in 1999 lasting for 12 days, it will likely continue for 12 months, leading up to Christmas Day 2000, December 25, 2000.

And preparations for Christmas 2000 are well underway. One artist is painting 2,000 angels for 2000. Travel agencies have begun to promote Holy Land 2000 Tours to Manger Square as the birthplace of the first millennium. And various entrepreneurs are promoting global commemorative events such as A Child is Born or Walk for the Messiah.

Nevertheless, there is a certain ambivalence about the millennial Christmas season. This is due in part to the annual commercialization of Advent, which only serves to bring out cynicism about whether Macy’s or the Manger is the real shrine of Christmas.

Even so, Christmas maintains its role as the leading universal holiday. All this without having a world headquarters. Penne Restad writes in Christmas in America (Oxford, 1995) that this season, with its fluid boundaries between reality and illusion, is actually a metaphor for a more perfect world.

Christmas is a time when “Peace on Earth” is expected to reign, bringing goodness, kindness, hope and social tranquility. Restad concludes, “At Christmastide, we must, directly or even by omission, set our priorities, establish our tolerances and square our hopes with reality.”

In preparing for 2000, it should give us hope that the reference event for the millennium was the birth of a child some 2,000 years ago. Maybe the most authentic millennial celebrations will be those which celebrate the child, and the birth of wonder, awe and childlikeness.

Despite the transforming role of Christmas, it remains one of the least studied elements of modern culture. If you are seeking a deeper meaning of Christmas by 2000 than may be found in shopping malls, I would suggest this enchanting little classic by John Shea. It’s subtitle is “Beholding the Christmas Miracle All Year Long.”

When we start to do that, the whole world could experience a new awakening in light of the new millennium and marvel at the impact of “The Spirit of 2000.”


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