You know when I was a kid, Christmas was always my favorite time of year. I couldn’t wait to see what new toys Santa would bring. For weeks before the big day I was on edge, always thinking I should have asked for this, or I shouldn’t have done that to my sister. I never got a lump of coal or a bundle of switches for Christmas. Which of course meant that Santa approved of how I treated my sister.
Anyway, the point I’m getting at here is this, when I was younger, the Christmas bug would bite me hard every year.
The older I get the less that bug seems to effect me. Not that I don’t love the spirit of this season and the joy of giving and receiving gifts, just that as I grow older I seem to over think things I guess. Its all too commercial for me now. I look forward to the time when family and friends are chilling in the den opening out gifts and smiling at each other. Listening to happy music and drinking too much egg nog. Eating sweets and the smell of our tree. The laughter in the streets when the kids are all outside playing with their new toys and running around looking at what all their friends got too. That feeling you have in your gut of satisfaction when your loved ones open that perfect gift you found for them and their eyes light up. Or they just throw their arms around you and hug the life out of you. That’s what this season is supposed to be about. Open minded loved ones hanging out and celebrating.
In the spirit or being an open minded society, lets take a step out of the bustle for a second and look at something important that a lot of people right now are not thinking about, and may not even know. Solstice, or the winter festival dates back before Christianity and several “gods” of that day had their birthdays celebrated on or around December 25th. It is thought that Christians began Christmas celebrations on that date to both help Roman pagans to convert over to Christianity and to keep the tradition of the winter festival alive and strong. Thus even folks claiming not to be Christians can celebrate in the comfort that the Solstice Winter festival and not the true birth of Christ is the foundation of our current holiday.
The bible doesn’t list the birth date of Jesus, and some papal scholars believe he may have been born on March 25th. (facts based on information found here ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas )
I don’t bring these facts up to dilute the christian belief’s. I speak of these other rituals and celebrations to share with everyone the true meaning of these holidays, the spirit of giving. The spirit of thinking about others and enjoying the company of friends, family and neighbors. The idea that the stranger sitting beside you on the bus, or standing next to you in the elevator is connected to you if only for a short while. Our common bond this time of year is that of caring for one another. Smile and tell your stranger to have a happy holidays.
“God bless us everyone.” doesn’t mean only the Christians. Open your heart, your eyes and your mind to the fact that we are all of us on this world together. Lets try to get along with each other and at least for this season, be nice to each other.