by Leonard Brown
Let me start off by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. I would be remiss if I left that out. Regardless of your political affiliation, religious beliefs, personal agendas, or what have you, it is my sincere wish that you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Happy Kwanzaa, Happy New Year, and even the best Festivus the world has ever seen. I wish you well.
I love Christmas. I really do. As the old song says, “It’s a most wonderful time of the year.” It is a time for us to gather around friends and family and celebrate the joy of each other. In all of the hustle and bustle of the season, we loose sight of that. We let ourselves get stressed out and worried about the material aspects of the season. Christmas is not about the gifts, the tinsel, the lights, the Egg Nog latte’s at Starbucks. (Okay, okay, I drink an awful lot of coffee. I get it.). Christmas is a time to celebrate the spiritual.
For myself and my family, we will be celebrating the birth of Christ. For some of my friends, they will be remembering the undying light of the Maccabees. My family is a musical family. We celebrate with song and scripture, along with the other traditions that the season brings. There is a lot of warmth and joy. We will gather at my mother’s house, celebrate the present and remember the past.
Christmas is meant to be a joyful time of year, so I have a hard time understanding why so many people want to tear it down. People rail against living nativity scenes and public displays that feature the newborn Messiah. They fight against everything that represents the true meaning of the holiday and replace it with more commercialism. Understand, I’m not against the commercial, the truth is, I’m as supportive of the free market system as anyone you’ll ever find. Even so, when material starts edging out spiritual, it has gone too far. People strive to replace Merry Christmas with “Happy Holidays”. Anything that might be even the least bit religious is removed and condemned.
The truth is, the battle over Christmas is heartbreaking to me. People fight so vehemently over what is meant to be an enjoyable time. Look around you and enjoy the season. Take in the sights and sounds. Listen to the Christmas music that is showing up on the radio. Go see the Christmas lights in neighborhoods all over the country. This is supposed to be a time of peace, not strife.
I am reminded of the old Bing Crosby holiday specials. Specifically of the famous duet with David Bowie. Bowie absolutely hated the Little Drummer Boy, but in the spirit of the season, spun a lovely counterpoint to Bing’s very traditional performance. The two of them could not have been any more different, but they put aside their differences for the furtherance of the Christmas Spirit. At this time of year, I would encourage Conservative and Progressive alike to take a little time to sit back and focus on what is important to you, and let the petty squabbles that we focus on the rest of the year get set to the side. Spread a little Christmas cheer. Enjoy the season, embrace your family, and have a very Merry Christmas.