Snow on the ground, toys under the tree, and the aroma of Christmas wafting from the kitchen are my fondest memories of Christmas. 67 Christmases have come and gone. Many familiar traditions have faded away while many new ones have taken their place.
Another year of the pandemic is nearing its end as it continues to rear its ugly head this holiday season. It is easy to get beaten down by the current political, cultural, and other divides in the world. One of the constants over the years is the spirit and generosity of Christmas that brings joy and hope to the world.
I struggle when I hear the words, “Put Christ back into Christmas.” Christ and Christmas are inseparable. Those words are directed to removing the commercialism from the sacred holiday. The truth is that the spirit of Christmas lives amid commercialism. Each of us owns our version of Christmas.
Not all in this world are Christians and not all Christians live their faith in the same manner. Many diverse faiths are found in this world. The Christmas season is a time for Christians to reflect on their faith and better understand the faith of others. There is more commonality in the world’s faiths that is often lost in translation by secular religions.
So, what is the meaning of Christmas beyond the Christ Child? It is a time to give up one’s very self and think only of others. It is binging the greatest happiness to others. Sharing happiness costs nothing and reaps great rewards.
One of my favorite reminders of what Christmas means are the closing words of the narrator of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. “Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer. Cheer to all Whos far and near. Christmas Day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp.” Live life fully in a way that generously radiates and grows in others.