First let me begin by discussing this time of year. I call it that because it is NOT what most people think. We call it many things. Most all of those things are nothing more or less or short of marketing sch-peal, schlep, or other expletive. Any way you look at it… this time or season of the year never really measures up to all of the hype it is given even though we all would desperately love for it to do so.
In order to be politically correct, most government agencies call it “Winter Holiday” or “Winter Break.” Those in the Judeo Christian realm call it Christmas (I’ll go into that just a bit more shortly). Yuletide, Hanukkah, Inti Raymi, Winter Solstice, Pancha Ganapati, Yalda, Kwanzaa, all are names for winter celebrations at this time of year. No matter what you call it, no matter what you are celebrating during this time of year, all of the religions, cults, peoples, nations, everyone seems to be in a festive mood though shadowed by guilt and longing, loneliness or loss, pressures and strains of the expectations of what has become much more cosmetic and commercial than true to its original purpose.
The Hallmark channel is laden with Christmas movies/shows with a very religious depth of intent. It is so “preacheristic” in its approach that it is appalling to me. The very fact that the “Christmas story” is so convoluted to the point of a sheer lie is repulsive to me. Interesting though that, while repulsed by the lie of the regularly played Church version of the birth of Jesus, I still do like to listen to various Christmas stories and watch “White Christmas” (the old version with Bing) or “Its a Wonderful Life” (yes… the B&W version) every year. Truth is… I love this time of year too. I love the original theme of hope and peace and goodwill.
So… you wonder what I’m talking about where the “Church Christmas Story” is concerned…? This repulsion comes from a long history of being told that this is the way it is and it is true and finding later in life that what I was told is NOT true. That’s right folks. The Christmas story of Christ’s birth is a farce. While Jesus was born and history does prove that, the probability that he was born on December 25th has two chances of being true. Slim and none. That is if you truly believe what the bible says as being true. Shepard(s) are not out in their fields watching their flocks by night during the winter months. That alone makes the story a lie. However, you can also include the fact that the wise men were not at the birth (they came to see him when he was “a young child”), Jesus was probably a stone mason and not a carpenter (he [Jesus] never mentions woodworking though he mentions stone work often), and there is no evidence that there ever was an “inn” in Bethlehem (that word should have been translated “lodging”). That being said, no inn, no inn keeper, no wise men, and you have the church lie-ing to it’s congregation annually. Sad but true.
BUT… this IS a season of hope. A season of peace, of love, of goodwill, family reuniting, gathering with friends, sharing of resources with others, and hopefully enjoying a time of celebration WITH each other. There is even a part of each of us that becomes more willing to give. Give to others. Others that have less than we may have or just have the need. It is a more selfless time. A time of introspection and reflection. A time when we become thankful for even the smallest of what we have been given or have.
It is a time of year that I get to and do spend more time in self reflection than most of the rest of the year. That, in and of itself, is one of the more beneficial aspects for me. I hope the same for each and every one of you reading this.
I loved what I saw on a Christmas ornament just the other day. “Music is Gods gift to us in order for us to pray without words.” And this is a time of year that much music is inspired, written, and performed. The best musicians convey feeling through their music whether through words or through the music itself. We are blessed often during this time of year with much feeling in the music. It comes from within the person and is passed along to each of us. Again, we share.
I feel particularly blessed. Even though I have had and still have personal adversity, I am greatly blessed. I am once again able to feel the joy of family and friends. Some but not all. Still some. Some have been lost. Some have willfully withdrawn. This is true for most of us. Yet, without the pain of separation I would not know the blessing of what I have.
For those who are going through a period of time in their lives where they do not have what they wish they had in a relationship, I would like to encourage you to do two things. First, believe that you will someday find that special someone in your life. And second I’d wish that you take time to reflect on the family you do have, the friends who do care for you, for what you have even if not much. There are thousands and thousand with less.
It is essentially your choice. You can choose to be stuck and depressed or you can choose to believe that it will get better. I follow the old saying “If you think you can’t you are right. If you think you can, you are also very right.” We choose each day to be happy or to be defeated. Choose to live. Choose to love. In so doing, there is hope.