Why do some people do Christmas holidays better than others? Perhaps the holidays remind them of the loss of loved ones. I’m one of those guys. I lost my father over Christmas and New Years.
Another thing I can’t wrap my head around is why we tend to go overboard on the whole gift thing. Let’s be fair… merchandisers have us hooked. My wife never met a Mall she didn’t like. I’m yet to go to one I do like.
I’m convinced that Santa is always in a happy mood because he knows where all the bad girls live… but I digress.
We go to all this trouble to celebrate Christ’s birthday but we make no efforts to practice what Christ preached. In fact, it has become politically correct to say Merry X-mas or Seasons Greetings so we don’t offend those who don’t share your beliefs. Go figure.
Do you really want to celebrate Christmas? Use the thousands of dollars you blow on gifts to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, to welcome the unwanted, to care for the ill, to love your enemies and to do unto others as others would have you do unto them. Do not do unto me what you’d do to yourself. Most people aren’t very kind to themselves.
We used to wish each other a Merry Christmas, now everybody says Happy Holidays. We Christians call it Christmas and we go to church where the Priests beg us to increase our donations. The Jews call it Hanukkah and they go to the synagogue where the Rabbi wants guess what… more money. The atheists simply go to parties and get loaded and when you pass them on the street, you say “Hey… look out for the wall!”
Like it or not, Christmas is compulsory. Schools are dismissed. Work stops early. Companies have parties. It’s like a huge hurricane is coming through. You just go with it and hope to survive. And to add insult to injury, the Visa bill arrives the first week in January. Happy New Year!
I do love the music and the lyrics of Longfellow that we enjoy over the Christmas holidays, some of which is remarkably revealing.
“And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
“And mocks the song
“Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
So, like it or not, we plow ahead to endure the season if you’re a Grinch like many are. If you’re like my wife, who has never grown up, she celebrates Christmas all year long, including playing Christmas CD’s in July.
In truth, Christmas is really a necessity. There has to be at least one day a year that brings us to the reality that we’re here for something else beside ourselves. Indeed, the meaning of Christmas is really about love in action.
The uncomfortable irony of Christmas is that millions upon millions have fought, bled and died because of their religious beliefs. Perhaps more humans have been sacrificed over the centuries in the name of religion than any holocaust or hurricane or so-called “act of God.”
Bottom line, it’s easier to be more spiritual and more giving when you have a few bucks in your pocket. It makes you wonder, what kind of gift would Jesus ask Santa for? I wonder if you’ll find it in a Mall.
Don’t think so.
It’s almost a paradox that the Christmas story is built upon a narrative about the homeless… and that it should be celebrated guess where… in every home!
One of the kindest and most symbolic Christmas gifts is a lovely candle. It makes no noise at all but softly gives while growing small in a humble, unselfish way.
The bottom line, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under some tree. It’s just not there.