Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Meaning of Christmas

I love Christmas, you usually love Christmas, but lately you have been questioning the “true and ultimate meaning of Christmas”.  You know the meaning of Christmas.  You have seen the It’s Christmas Charlie Brown special no less than 163 times.  Our hero Chuck can’t get into the Christmas spirit and is a bit frustrated by the commercial take over of the holiday, but Linus’ soliloquy (memorized at the threat of violence) is probably the best excuse for a joyous season that anyone could come up with.  It came out in 1965; it is 46 year old.  You are still reading a blog post entitled “The True Meaning of Christmas.”  If a cartoon cannot settle this debate for you, I clearly will not.

I know the true meaning of Christmas
and I will be the first person to tell you that Jesus was born sometime in the spring.  (On the cusp between Pisces and Aries, but that’s another blog for another time.)  I am not a practicing Christian, and only a moderately practicing Buddhist.  However, unlike many Americans, I will admit that I am cultural Christian, and I don’t really think that this whole “Meaning of Christmas” thing has a whole lot to do with religion anyway.  In theory, no one is supposed to care what you religion really this is America. On the other hand, it is Christmas d*mmit you have to buy something for the kids, and your in-laws, and their teacher, and your boss, and …and.  It makes you want to say words like ‘humbug’.

I started this by saying I love Christmas, and I do, and here is why.  I live in Buffalo and, global warming excepted, winter weather is in full swing by the solstice.  I love any excuse to invite everyone over, give stuff to friends family and strangers, eat a little more than I should and generally party it up.  Without the threat of coal filled stockings how could I discipline two children who have just had to put away bicycles and close up the sand box for the next 6 months?  I will thank the Christians, Goths, Pagans, Coca Cola and whoever else for the excuse to sing up beat songs that I already know the words to at the top of my lungs.  It gives so many people pause, there is too much commercialism.  But all those Christmas songs still me cry anyway. I love the idea of charity and hope pervades, and we are all allowed to wish  others well for no other reason than they spilled your groceries out onto the snow.   It's more than just a matter of faith, but there is faith in it. from childhood I've always loved the Yes, Virginia explanation for the Santa Clause. There is magic in life, you are the magic in life.  Christmas brings a little light and magic to the darkest days of our year and that it should, and if you attribute that to Jesus, or the returning of the sun, I am not sure that it matters.

My mother called this week to chat and confirm her holiday travel plans with us.  Of course my 2 ½ wanted to talk on the phone.  I don’t know what my mom said, but my Dear Daughter clearly exclaimed, “I love you too grandma ... we have toys already ... come see me soon!”  I guess it doesn’t matter if you or I  know the meaning of Christmas.

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