Monday, December 22, 2014

Why I Celebrate Christmas

For the past couple of months (you know, since 2 days before Halloween when Wal-mart and Costco start shoving Christmas down our throats), I've been contemplating why I celebrate Christmas in the fashion that I do.

And if you haven't noticed, I love lists. This one, will be more highlights than an order. So...anyway, here's this list. I may or may not check it twice. There's only three items, so doubtful.

Tradition: If you know me well enough, you will know that I have a strong Jewish ancestry. And if you've seen Fiddler on the Roof (my favorite musical), then you'll see where this is going. Tradition is why we do things sometimes. It's the "that's the way we've always done it" mentality. In a work place, most of the time, it's the wrong answer. However, in a home setting, tradition can be a powerful thing. Tradition is a memory maker. I've heard the question "what are some traditions you have."

Growing up, our tradition was Santa Claus brought our gifts. Some gifts would gather at the bottom of the tree leading up to Christmas and then bam! Christmas morning the gifts were there. My parents, to be honest, weren't tradition-followers. One year, my parents didn't feel like wrapping (can't recall if it was a lack of time or a lack of money for wrapping paper or what), so they just put everything in a "spot" where my brothers and I went to on Christmas morning. Despite the lack of "traditions", buying presents and giving them out on Christmas day is the tradition I uphold.

Smiles: There's nothing like seeing the smiles on children's faces. The joy at just opening presents and then the happiness that a simple toy or gift can bring. Yeah, we can do that for birthdays. But it's the one day in the year when we give gifts to all my children. And thus, the smiles multiplies.

Also, the look on my wife's face brings me just as much (if not more) joy. So the joy that is spread on Christmas is just such a wonderful feeling. I love being able to give gifts to people that they can use and that they just want/love. It's a tradition that I have had for a long time.

Spirit: What's the true meaning of Christmas? In all honesty, who knows. Sheldon Cooper is right. Christmas was a way to get pagans to adopt a Christian thought process. Saturnalia and Yule were given Christian adjustments. Santa Claus looks the way he does because Coca-Cola said so. Black Friday actually only fell on a Friday and other sales weren't as common throughout the season. I mean, so many things have changed who really knows what the "Christmas spirit" is.

However, as one who associates Christmas with the birth of Christ, it is the spirit of giving and forgiving. Christ was born to ultimately be a sacrifice of mankind. He is a gift from God to rescue and save. He healed and he gave. So even though I believe his birthday is not December 25th, I do believe that celebrating it at the coldest time of year is a wonderful thing.

Love and joy and peace and all the sappy things that make a cheesy Hallmark movie go into this season. And you know what, I'm not gonna apologize for that. That is what Christmas is about. It's about Scrooge and the Grinch asking for forgiveness and learning to give instead of taking. It's about caring about others as best we can. It's about being selfless.

Whatever the holiday once was, this is how I view it today. Sadly, so many people have tainted views that joy and peace and love are unattainable emotions. Other than wishing to slap them (cause that's peaceful), I want to let them know that these feelings are most often felt when given.

So no matter who you are and where you may be, I challenge you all to give joy, peace, and love to someone this week (and every week, every day for that matter). It just might bring those things to you.

Merry Christmas to all. And to all a good night.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

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