Merry Christmas, if you’re into that sort of thing. Another year, another opportunity to consider trite notions like the meaning of Christmas. I find myself wondering more every year why it seems to be a more stressful than rewarding time for many people. All the same people who describe themselves as “spiritual not religious” will insist they celebrate Christmas not as a religious holiday but as a family holiday. I can get with this, and it’s really the only way to when you consider the entire premise of the day probably being completely fictitious. So it’s a family holiday, ideally meaning you spend quality time with the family. When you already live in close proximity to your family, this creates a kind of arbitrary special time to appreciate one another in a manner that we already should be doing every day. While everyone knows the whole giving spirit of Christmas is something we should be do year-round, this is a truism and understood impossibility, like world peace or honest politicians.
So then what is the point? Maybe I don’t think there’s much of one, until you get to see the delight on a family member’s face just to all be together. I’ve mentioned before one of life’s great ironies is being raised with all intentions of avoiding your parents’ mistakes, only to grow up and relive many of them. Maybe Christmas is like that, where you grow up thinking it’s mostly pointless and then one day hit an age where it is very important and savored. But to me, Christmas and all other holidays serve as a reminder everything only has the power we put into it. Beyond human constructs there are no special days, times, maybe even places. One’s own meditation room on a random weekday can be as powerful as any church on Christmas. It’s simply the stock we put into things. We have the ability to treat every day with that effect, to know we can share in a giving spirit and feel close with God and family regardless of time and place. This might sound like making every day be Christmas, another one of those impossibilities. But I see the idea making every day something special and powerful. There is no need for Christmas when we already have more than enough.