Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

A small break from nerdery to bring you a little thought on Christmas:

Christmas is my favorite holiday.  It always has been, as far back as I can remember.  Why?

Well, I love the trappings.  I love the lights, the trees, Santa Claus, egg nog, Christmas specials, food, etc.  But what I really love is that Christmas- to me- is a celebration of the best qualities of humanity.

Love.  Generosity.  Selflessness.

Hallowe'en was once about honoring the dead, and now it's a chance to have some fun with costumes.  Thanksgiving is about tradition, and being...thankful.  Christmas is nominally about the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.  It's really a much older holiday that comes out of Germanic, Celtic, and Roman traditions that honors the solstice (the days are getting longer, y'all!  Zeus must have liked that kid goat I sacrificed) that Christian missionaries adopted in an attempt to win converts in the early part of the Middle Ages.  Jesus was probably born in March, April, or May.  Regardless.

Whether you see Christmas as a Christian holiday, a Solstice celebration, or a holiday that has become largely secular, I think we can all agree that love, generosity, family and selflessness are still at it's core.

Christmas is what we aspire to be all year round.  Christmas is about being a better human.  It's about the elevation of humanity. To often throughout the year we probably think only about ourselves- Christmas is a chance to be better than that.  Christmas dares us to be better (Ha ha!  I snuck in a Star Trek reference).

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