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Merry Christmas 2007

Monday, December 24th, 2007 at 18:01 ET

Has it been a whole year since that rant about people saying “happy holidays” versus “merry Christmas”? When I was first moving from my old site to this one, I thought I would probably delete that post. I reread it a few weeks ago and it’s definitely staying…

Christmas Eve is, for me, the most special day of the year. Christmas Day is great, even with the anxiety of giving and getting presents, and I like New Years Eve a lot too. I also have a lot of new family traditions that I love about Thanksgiving, but none of them beat Christmas Eve. There’s no contest. I was listening to a Christmas CD by Sufjan Stevens today — I hope you’ve heard it before. I like the unusual sounds that he’s able to create (and he plays almost all the instruments himself.) The song was one of his original works and all of a sudden I knew a lot more about why I like Christmas Eve so much. It was the way he was singing about a baby…

If you’re Christian, you may know that religiously Easter is undoubtedly the most important feast day. Easter is the celebration of the God’s greatest miracle, and that miracle is the crux of our salvation. In comparison, Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, is actually somewhat anticlimactic. Jesus being born didn’t do anything for our souls. It took 30 years from the first Christmas for Jesus’ ministry to even start. Why all this fuss about a baby?

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the wintertime celebrations of different faith and belief backgrounds. One that doesn’t get a lot of press in popular American culture is Winter Solstice or Yule. The celebration of a more pagan (lower-case p) or cultural festival of the solstice is actually very intertwined with many of our modern Christmas traditions. Solstice represents the time when the sun begins to take back the sky, staying out longer and longer each day — in some traditions this is seen as the sun’s rebirth.

Christmastime is a time of birth or rebirth for me too. This is a time to gather with friends and family and celebrate. If you’re celebrating the birth of a baby, it’s amazing because of what you believe he was born to do. This is a time to recognize that something big is about to change in this world. If you’re celebrating Santa and gift-giving, it’s the one time of the year when we strive to be most generous and most fair. This is a time to rededicate yourself to your faith, to your family, to your friends, and to yourself.

I’m making my rededication tonight; tomorrow I hope I can be born again a new man.

Filed under: Spirituality and Faith

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