Today is a festive day; a day for family and friends; and a day to celebrate all that is good. It’s taken me a long time to find joy again in the Christmas season. Christmas Day is the day my Dad took his final breath, and it is the day that the final tragic failure of Christian Science in my own family came to its full fruition. But, I have slowly regained my joy in this season, and adopted new traditions as old ones have faded away. I’ve even begun to try my hand at some of the Christmas baking that my parents used to do–after all, that’s the only way I can enjoy those treats now. I’m not as good at it as they were, but then again, they had years of practice to perfect their art. I am merely a young padawan.
I often see people who get incensed one way or another if you say “seasons greetings”, “happy holidays”, or “merry Christmas”. Christians lament that the “Christ” has been taken out of Christmas and it has been hijacked into a secular holiday (they call it the “war on Christmas”). However, let’s not forget that the Christmas holiday and many of its traditions actually have their roots in pagan traditions such as Saturna, various Norse festivals (Yule) and others. If anyone should have an issue with co-opting, it’s the pagans.
Either way, I see Christmas as a universal holiday; something that can be celebrated by everyone in whatever way they choose. If you celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus, that’s fine. If it’s a pagan celebration of winter solstice for you, fine. Let’s all enjoy it in peace, harmony, and acceptance. As you harm none, do as you will. And, if you say “merry Christmas” to me, I will say ‘thank you’ and wish you a merry Christmas; likewise if it’s “seasons greetings” or “happy holidays”. Whatever way you celebrate, or don’t celebrate, I simply hope you all are enjoying the season with those you love.