Monday, December 26, 2011


People say that Christmas should be about celebrating the birth of Jesus, not about consumerism. But Christmas is many things. I'm not into either consumerism or celebrating the birth of Jesus, but I do celebrate Christmas. For me, Christmas means a number of things. For one thing, it is a part of my cultural heritage. And there is a Christian aspect to it for me. I'm not Christian in the conservative sense of the word. However, what I was taught growing up was that the message of Jesus was that we should love everyone. That's a message I do believe in.

The way I was brought up, and what I still believe, is that Christmas is a good time to remember that message. It's a time to reach out to others in love. It's a time to re-connect with family, to spend time with those who live far away. It's a time when we think about what our loved ones might want, and to give them gifts that we think they would enjoy. It's a time when we send cards to people who are not part of our every day lives, as a way to maintain connections with them. It's a time when we think of those in need and make charitable donations.

In my own family, we spend the day together. We start off by going for a walk in the morning. Then we have a meal together. Then after lunch, we sit around together opening presents. Opening presents is a way of spending time together as a family. We open our presents, and together we look at them and play with them.

Christmas is also a solstice holiday. The solstice was an already existing holiday, and then the birth of Jesus was put in as an add-on. Winter solstice is a time of cold and darkness. We bring warmth to this season by gathering together, singing songs, and lighting lights. It seems a good time of year to remember someone who brought us a message of love.

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