Christmas Time is here. Regardless of your beliefs, the holiday season is a Time to Love. Many people are unhappy with each other today. We are a deeply divided country. We are angry. We are, ourselves, hurting, and we are hurting each other. And that’s a part of the reality of our time.
The Beauty of Christmas is that it’s an opportunity to step away from reality. In the New Year, we can return to hating one another. We can return to accusations and denials. For just a few days, though, let’s turn our attention elsewhere.
Let’s remember that we really are one people. We are all sharing this rock hurtling through space. We all love someone. (Except Tom Riddle; he is incapable of love… but that’s another story.) We are, I hope, all loved by someone. If you feel unloved, I’m here to tell you that I love your existence.
Whether we disagree about everything is irrelevant. What matters is that you’re a human life. You have your own spark of divine light. You have your own unique heart. You have value because you’re a member of my species. Your contributions to the world aren’t finished yet. Your kindness to others can continue to make a difference. I am honestly glad you’re on the planet. I would like to walk with you a little farther, perhaps to the next bend in the road where our paths must, like two roads in a yellow wood, diverge. I’ll be taking the road less travelled by.
The season is a chance to pause, just for a day or two, and reflect on the joys we still have in life. I have more than my share: I have cats who tolerate me, and one of them cuddles with me almost nightly. I have people who love and support me. I have a voice to which a few people listen from time to time. And, most of all, I have the time and the ability to do the things I want to do. That’s the greatest gift a person can have. I need no others.
We give gifts because The Magi began the tradition more than 2000 years ago. It’s a means of sacrificing something of ours to bring joy to someone else. Gift giving is, itself, an act of love. Gift giving is a part of the traditions of nearly every culture this time of year. Giving gifts means being, in some way, with someone we love. This season is, in fact, a Time To Love.
This is the time to ask yourself what gifts you have. I promise if you dig deep enough, there are more than you think. Find them. Proclaim them. Love them.
Christmas is a time of Magic. There must be something in the air at the Solstice that causes a strange change to come over all of us. Complete strangers wish each other “Merry Christmas” or some version of “Happy Holidays.” Charities are swamped with donor and volunteers. Forgiveness comes more easily. There seems to be a universal agreement that, at Christmas, love and kindness rule the day.
We believe, in our own ways, in the magic of Santa Claus. NORAD tracks his progress every year. Children watch the skies. Adults still listen for the reindeer’s broken bell ringing in the early morning hours. Some of us can actually hear it, even now.
We believe in the beauty of the magical birth, on that Holy Night, of a child who would change the world. We lie in the hay, with the babe in the manger, seeing unimagined possibilities and unlimited potential at the beginning of this life, and, indeed, of any life. We are all, with the baby Jesus, innocent and loved.
“Every year when I was little, Daddy told me a story about The Great War; how on Christmas Eve an English soldier started singing Silent Night, and from the other side of the trenches, the German soldiers joined in. And then they crossed the enemy lines and vowed not to fight each other the next day. But the sun rose, and their commanders told them to charge, and they did. I don’t know why that story makes me feel hopeful. Maybe it’s that good will exists, even if it’s small and weak. There’s a chance it may grow up one day.” – Lily Harper, “I’ll Fly Away”
There’s nothing supernatural about this magic. I maintain it is the magic of love that helps us to illuminate together the lantern in our lighthouse, guiding one another away from the swirling, foaming Ocean of Inequality and toward the Ideal World. I don’t know why that fact makes me feel hopeful. Maybe it’s that, even if it’s for only one day, there’s a chance it could extend a little farther, and we can walk just a little farther together, until finally, Love becomes the world’s beacon, and we all grow up one day.
I wish you love and joy in whatever holiday you celebrate. Take this time to reflect on, and in, Peace on Earth, and good will toward all living things.