Taking the Christ out off Christmas
I will start by telling you I am just a bit in love with Christmas time.
Everything about it, The tree, the decorations, the food, the gifts (especially giving them) the crazy shopping, spending time with family and friends. Everything that is, except the religious side of Christmas.
I hear you chuckle at my silly statement, it’s a religious holiday. Or shake your head in disappointment as you assume I am just in it for Santa and miss the whole point of the holiday season.
But let me explain. I was baptised Anglican as per my grandmothers wishes, I went to Sunday school and church and all through primary school attended RE classes along with everyone else and I learned about Christianity and Jesus and the whole Christmas story.
However, I myself am not a religious person. I am fine with religious education in schools provided it’s a broad study of all kinds of religion past and present.
I have no issue with religious celebrations whatsoever provided they are treated with equal respect by the community as a whole.
Christmas I feel is a little beyond that though, but not as a religious holiday. Christmas has become so much more than a celebration of the birth of Jesus and Christianity as a whole.
For myself, my family and many others it is a time of Joy, of Peace and Forgiveness.
It is about making time for family and friends, to come together and celebrate the goodness we experience and set aside our worries and hardships for just a little while.
It’s a time for giving, and love and charity to others less fortunate, or those who are alone.
These aspects of Christmas go far beyond religious belief and encompass all people no matter age, race, colour, gender, sexual preference, social and economical status or religious background.
This Christmas, my first as a parent I am following in my mothers footsteps, and hers before that and opening my home to my family and friend to celebrate life with us. The people joining us are the people I love most in the world, old friends and new, some are people who don’t have family near enough to spend the holidays with, and some who don’t have happy family’s at all. My mother used to invite our whole community to feast with us on Christmas day. Our very poor little community of misfits and people who had no one else would all come together to celebrate what we did have rather than commiserate what we didn’t and it was beautiful. It is a tradition I hope to carry on, to pass down to my own children and for them to pass to theirs. And while the religious meaning of Christmas it worthless in our household, the communal one is everlasting and inclusive to all.