As the Catholic son of a Jewish mother, I've always had a mixture of feelings about Christmas. On one hand, it's definitely my favorite time of the year. On the other hand, I am saddened that so many find no joy in its celebration.
Yesterday, I came across a blog post by communications consultant Shel Israel, called "A Jew's View of Christmas," a bittersweet remembrance of growing up as a Jew and watching the Christians around him enjoying Christmas.
This is the comment I left on his blog.
For me, the meaning of Christmas comes down to one word: Gift. In the Gospel story, gift is a central image and idea:
~ The Incarnation is God coming into the world as a gift of love and transformation.
~ The baby is an unexpected gift to Mary and Joseph.
~ And the Magi bring extraordinary gifts to the Holy Family.
So the best way to keep Christmas? Here are five ways:
G - Give the gift of yourself to others
I - Inspire others with peace and joy
F - Find the star in your life that leads you
T - Take the Spirit of Christmas with you wherever you go
S - Say thanks often for all the gifts you have been given
As a kid, I remember a TV commercial that said, “You don’t have to be Jewish to like Levi’s Rye Bread.” I think the same goes for Christmas. You don’t have to be Christian to like Christmas.
As the song lyric says, "It's the most wonderful time of the year!"
My wish to all is Joy to the world. And let me echo Shel Israel's closing wish: "Happy holidays, and may the New Year bring all of us closer to peace on Earth.”
Enjoy the season. Give your gifts. Be the blessing.
Posted by Terrence Seamon on Tuesday December 20, 2011