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    The Quiet Joy of Christmas

    December 25, Christmas Day, is reserved by Christians as the day they celebrate Jesus Christ's birth.  There is no real indication that the Christian Messiah was actually born on that day, but it was decided long ago, and there it is.   But little by little the reason for the season was crowded out; St. Nicholas came along and then morphed into  Coca Cola Santa .  Pine trees were brought into houses and decorated with ornaments having more to do with sweet and cute than with Jesus.  Mistletoe hung over doors, candles twinkled in windows, and Currier and Ives made a fortune with their prints of winter scenes--a far stretch from the birthplace in Bethlehem.

    The complaints about the secularization of Christmas have a certain legitimacy.  The celebration of a sacred birth has been usurped and turned into a holiday that bears no resemblance to the original intent.  Shopping is a major proponent of the new Christmas.  Drinking is right up there, too.  It wouldn't be Christmas without the traditional overindulgence.

    But I maintain that there are enough joyous moments, quiet moments, loving moments--in fact, memorable moments at Christmas to keep the holiday sacred (as in protected and defended) in the hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike.   We love the lights and the music, the laughter of little kids, the connections with friends and family near and far away.

    Let's face it; Christmas is prime time for cliches.  Even the hardest hearts succumb to Christmas.  (There is a reason Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is dragged out, re-read, or re-made year after year.  We need to pretend the Scrooges will come around, if even for one day. )

    I love the memories of candle-lit Midnight masses.  I'm still thrilled by Christmas hymns; in fact, this old heathen's dream is to sit in the Mormon Tabernacle and listen up close and personal to the Tabernacle Choir singing "O Holy Night"

    Besides family images, it's the quiet winter scenes that, oddly, remind us of Christmas.  There is nothing religious about them, nothing having to do with the birth of a Messiah, but they stir feelings in us that we can't seem to do without this time of year. 




    I wish love and joy and wonder to all.  I wish the weight of the world would come off the shoulders of those who are suffering, even today. I wish our memories would include them, even tomorrow.  I wish this wasn't just wishful thinking.

    Merry Christmas.



    Merry Christmas, Ramona. 

    My best to you, LIs.  Enjoy this day and all the others.

    Very nice.  

    Merry Christmas

    Thank you, Emma.  Have a great day.

    The "reason for the season" was not crowded out. It was always, long before Christianity, a celebration of the triumph of light over darkeness, rebirth over death. Part of that celebration has been the giving of gifts and, yes, the drinking of intoxicating beverages. I suspect Jesus of Nazareth would have imbibed (though perhaps not the Christ). 

    If Christians want to reserve the 25th of December for their own celebration of the Mass of Christ, no one stands in their way. They are modern part of a rich and ancient human tradition. 

    The rest of us celebrate the rebirth of the year in our own ways, according to our own traditions. And all of us agree with your beautifully expressed closing paragraph.

    Merry Christmas to you, too.

    A reason for the season!

    Merry Christmas to you Ramona and a Happy New Year!

    And the same to you, Richard.  Thinking of you today.

    Can one old  heathen wish another old heathen a Merrie Christmas?  Oops, too late!  I just did.

    Moojigizi  Niibaanamom, Ramona!


    Flower, good wishes from me to you.

    Christians joyfully celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. The message of peace on earth is not forgotten. Most Christians chuckled at the idea of a "War on Christmas". They also wonder why Xmas sales means that the religious message is forgotten. Church services stress caring for the poor and loving your neighbor.

    While those who are not religious may form biases because of images of mega-churches exalting faith as a way to wealth and fallen preachers/priests, the day to day work done in neighborhood churches is often overlooked. These churches feed and clothe the poor. In many instances the neighborhod churches have programs that house the elderly and provide drug addiction treatment programs. I attended Christmas Eve services at such a church last night as a visitor from out of town.

    The idea of a war on Christmas and a loss of the true message of Christmas are fantasies to most who attend churches who follow the true meaning of the scriptures.

    Merry Christmas too all.

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