If this holiday is to commemorate the events of the nativity story, then we must catch the significance of Luke's account of Christ's birth among the humble and the poor, to a (probably) teenage mother who is caught off guard by her pregnancy, and the proclamation to lowly sheep farmers of his birth. His parents can only afford the poor person's sacrifice of two birds when they take him for his circumcision at the temple. But this is the glorious God who created all and possesses all. The glorious God stepped into his creation to express humble love.
The Christmas spirit, then, for believers, ought to be humble love. Isn't Philippians 2 a great Christmas passage, then? We celebrate the birth of Christ, the God-man, as a human baby. He enters into his creation, into a world where he will be surrounded by the corruption of sin which he hates, and voluntary takes human form to express his love.
When we remember the poor and needy at Christmas, as per Dickens' literary exhortation, we are not in the Christmas spirit if we do it for the sake of holiday sentimentality, but only if we do it to imitate the "Christmas spirit" of humble love.
The wonder of the incarnation, of what it means and how exactly it works can only be understood in part. How could he be fully God and fully man, without confusion or separation of the natures? It blows my mind! But he came in a very simple and practical way to incarnate God's love for the world. I really want to catch the Christmas spirit by humbly loving others. I really want to be a physical representation to my world that reflects the physical manifestation of God's love to the world. I really want to come with my metaphorical sheep on my metaphorical shoulders (i.e., out of my humble position with so little to offer people, and nothing to give God unless he gives it to me first) and look with adoration and amazement on the one who brings peace with God and makes possible the ongoing presence of God in our hearts through the Spirit. Let's catch the Christmas spirit by following the Spirit of Jesus, and, if Austin can accept this word, being spiritual.
“Loving humility is marvelously strong, the strongest of all things and there is nothing else like it.”
Father Zosima in Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov