Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy, Merry Hanu-Kwan-Mas and a Cool Yule

We're going to be out of town through Christmas and I won't be blogging for a few days but I thought I'd give as non-cynical an appraisal of it as this sarcastic, liberal humanist/atheist can.

Christmas is still a bit fun for me because I see the idealization of it through the eyes of my 5 year old. He brims with a joy that I can only imagine. Though he loves the idea of presents, when Santa at the mall asked him what he wanted, he wouldn't tell him anything specific because he said, "I'm always happy with whatever you bring me, Santa."

I like this part of the year because even people that you are not a big fan of ,or that you have had disagreements in the past with, will soften and wish you "Happy Holidays" and they will mean it. For a few weeks, most people are thinking about parties, family, helping out the local food shelter, etc. Yeah, it'd be nice if people thought about these things all year. But I'll take this time of year over no time of year.

Don't let the commercialization of the holidays suck the life out of the festiveness of it. I could care less about getting anything but I love giving others things. I love seeing friends. I love the food.

Don't let people tell you what the holiday is supposed to be about (including me) and don't let people tell you there is a "war" on it. If some people think it's about God, that's OK. If others think it's about the celebration of winter or anything else, that's OK too. People that shove down your throat what they feel it should be about have a lump of coal for a heart anyway.

I was reading my son a Christmas book when I put him to bed last night. A passage in it, though unapologetically corny, seems to sum it up for me (through the words of a young girl):

... Perhaps what we need is not one more toy.
Maybe it's something more simple - like joy.
The presents are great, and we both love to play,
But I think that the meaning of Christmas Day
Is ore about loving and less about things,
And the feeling that sharing and giving brings.
I know it's a lot, but here's what I wish,

... I hope that tonight as you fly in your sled
That all the worlds's children are safely in bed,
And are warm, and are dreaming dreams that are sweet,
And have plenty of love, and plenty to eat.

Oh Santa, dear Santa, I think what we need,
Is a world that is peaceful and not full of greed,
Where everyone cares about one another
As if each child were a sister or brother ...

So celebrate it in any matter you choose ... or if you choose not to, that's OK. But try to take a little of the happiness of it and extend it on past the start of the year.

I'm truly thankful for all of you (my blog friends). I enjoy your words. I hope I learn a little each day through the dialogues we have.

Happy Holidays to you all! I'll be back in a few days to start inundating you with boring year-end "best of's".

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