It’s that time of year again, folks. Yep, I know you’ve all been waiting patiently for my yearly uplifting holiday message. As many of you who have read my stuff here and elsewhere over the years and decades already know, my message hardly changes from one year to the next. I’m not exactly known for my Christmas cheer.
The older I get the less I think about Christmas. Of course, if I’m being honest, I was never a big fan of the holiday to begin with. Let me be clear: I enjoy seeing friends and family over the holidays (not this year, of course), and eating turkey and all that good stuff, but the rest, for me, is complete bullshit. Even as a child I dreaded the season. I looked forward to the break from school, but that was about it.
I can see some of the Christians in the back shaking their heads as they gasp for air and clutch their chests. A few are even mouthing the words, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” No, he isn’t. Jesus has nothing to do with the season. This made up Hallmark holiday is more about corporations making their fourth quarter projections than it is about the birth of baby Jesus.
Historians and Biblical scholars agree (well, some of them do) that Christ was born some time in the Spring, not in the winter, and certainly not on December 25. That Christmas is celebrated during the same time pagans celebrate the winter solstice raises a few eyebrows, but is likely just a coincidence. None of that really matters as far as I’m concerned. My issue is with the phoniness of it all. After the holidays are over the world goes back to being, well, the world. It all seems so shallow.
Call me Scrooge, or whatever other term you use for Christmas buzz-kills, but the fact we spend three weeks a year being extra kind to others bothers me. If you believe in Christ; if you believe he is God incarnate, that he strapped on a human body, became flesh, blood and bone to save us all, that’s great. I believe in God, and I believe Christ was who he said he was. What I don’t believe in is people going into debt to show how much they love their friends and family. That doesn’t seem very Christ-like to me at all.
Now more than ever before what the world needs – and it many be cliche` to say – is love. So let’s not just be loving, giving and kind at Christmas, let’s do it every single day of the year, in whatever capacity we are capable. Let’s reach out to our neighbours, family and friends, but more importantly to the less fortunate. So many are going without. So many are suffering from fear, from loneliness; from hopelessness and ill health. Let’s make it about them.
Anyway, let me get down off my soapbox. I wish all good things for you dear reader, for the coming days, weeks, months and years. Oh yeah, and Merry Christmas.