Wednesday, December 24, 2008

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you read this post and so you knew to expect this. If you aren't a regular reader, this is something I've done for awhile now going back to when I was in high school on my original blog address.

I don't want to go into a whole post about how Christmas has lost it's meaning due to commercialization and greed because I don't think it has. I think some of the religious aspect it once held in society may be lost, but I don't really think that detracts from it's importance in any significant way. Those who wish to remember it as the birth of Jesus do so; but those who aren't Christian or religious should not feel any less welcomed or loved during these days. Christmas is a time to be with your family, to be with those you love and care about. Gifts are given to those we care about. Food is given to shelters and money is donated to charities to provide for those in need. Are these effects any less important or any less beneficial in a secular form? I don't see how.

There's very strong evidence that Christmas is based upon a pagan holiday. That's fine. It doesn't change what it means now. Different faiths have different holidays and Christmas is of course seen as Christian, but just looking around it's obvious that it's not exclusive to Christianity. Everyone gets in the spirit this time of year -- I know several Agnostics and Atheists who celebrate Christmas just as they celebrate Thanksgiving or the 4th of July. Instead of being exclusive about holidays, I think we should be inclusive. I participated in the fasting of Ramadan a year ago. (I asked some Muslims I know if it would at all be offensive if I did so and they all agreed that no, it is not, and they supported me in doing it with them.) I learned a lot from it and it was a very good experience. In the same light, I encourage everyone of every background to participate in the feeling and experience of Christmas. Not necessarily for it's religious meanings or implications, but because of what it means: being with those you love and care about and sharing with one another to make this world a better place.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

1 comment:

nae4blue said...

Too bad I don't love those I'm with because they coerce me into going to church with them by guilt.

Sol Invictus all the way! I don't know how not to celebrate Christmas. It's kind of in my face.

I don't enjoy the pontification, but the gift giving is obligatory...