It’s Christmas Eve. For some people, this is a day of deep religious significance, full of hope and meaning. For other people, it is a day of fun and festivity, of warmth and delight. But for most people, this is a season for family and gathering and connection.
I was musing about the timing of winter holidays. For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, winter holidays come at a strange time. Snow and cold weather make travel difficult. The early nighttimes are conducive to contemplation and solitude. Yet for many, this time is the biggest season for travel and merry-making. Perhaps ancient people saw how natural cycles shape their tendency to isolate, and started traditions to highlight togetherness and community. We made it through another year! Let’s celebrate. Together.
This is a season for family. For some people, that is a source of joy and thanksgiving. For others, it is a source of tension, anger, and anxiety. For still others, it is a source of loneliness and grief. As much as we may share jolly greetings and mirth with each other, let us also recognize that this is a hard time for some people.
So, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate Christ. Let us remember the wondrous gift that we have received. Let us proclaim the good news of the reconciliation of God and humanity. Let us reflect on and reflect out the goodness of God.
And Merry Christmas to all who will receive this greeting, of all faith persuasions. May this season be a time for what is needed: joy in its proper time, and sorrow in its proper time. Laughter and tears, words and silence.
And for those who would rather not receive a Merry Christmas greeting; still, a greeting of peace for you. May this season produce peace both within you and through you to others. May this peace overcome paranoia, hatred, and indifference.
May this be a time for all of us to grow in charity and care for each other. To celebrate each other and how we have grown through this year. Also, there’s pie, since nothing says celebration like simple carbohydrates. Enjoy!