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`What Christmas means to me'

Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of this newspaper, shared these thoughts in the Ladies' Home Journal in 1907.

TO me Christmas involves an open secret, understood by few - or by none - and unutterable except in Christian Science. Christ was not born of the flesh. Christ is the Truth and Life born of God - born of Spirit and not of matter. Jesus, the Galilean Prophet, was born of the Virgin Mary's spiritual thoughts of Life and its manifestation.

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God creates man perfect and eternal in His own image. Hence man is the image, idea, or likeness of perfection - an ideal which cannot fall from its inherent unity with divine Love, from its spotless purity and original perfection.

Observed by material sense, Christmas commemorates the birth of a human, material mortal babe - a babe born in a manger amidst the flocks and herds of a Jewish village.

This homely origin of the babe Jesus falls far short of my sense of the eternal Christ, Truth, never born and never dying. I celebrate Christmas with my soul, my spiritual sense, and so commemorate the entrance into human understanding of the Christ conceived of Spirit, of God and not of a woman - as the birth of Truth, the dawn of divine Love breaking upon the gloom of matter and evil with the glory of infinite being.

Human doctrines or hypotheses or vague human philosophy afford little divine effulgence, deific presence or power. Christmas to me is the reminder of God's great gift - His spiritual idea, man and the universe, a gift which so transcends mortal, material, sensual giving that the merriment, mad ambition, rivalry, and ritual of our common Christmas seem a human mockery in mimicry of the real worship in commemoration of Christ's coming.

I love to observe Christmas in quietude, humility, benevolence, charity, letting good will towards man, eloquent silence, prayer, and praise express my conception of Truth's appearing.

The splendor of this nativity of Christ reveals infinite meanings and gives manifold blessings. Material gifts and pastimes tend to obliterate the spiritual idea in consciousness, leaving one alone and without His glory.

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