“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.”– Hamilton Wright Mabie
In case you hadn’t noticed, there are a few ways that people generally view the holidays. The first is that there is a lot of pressure attached to it; what with being sure to get just the right gifts for their loved ones without breaking the bank, baking 100 types of cookies, decorating their abode, inside and out, running hither and yon and dancing the night away at all kinds of parties. The folks who subscribe to that belief may find themselves wildly out of control. For others, the holidays are a time of sadness as they experience missing loved ones who have passed and the empty seat at the table is a poignant and painful reminder. It is possible, whether in the first or second group to capture some piece of the holiday spirit by enjoying time with family and friends, listening to traditional and non-traditional music, volunteering with those in the community who are in need, offering presence in place of presents and in the case of the second group, gently immersing themselves in the celebration as able.
Whether or not you believe that the historical Jesus was actually born on December 25th or if the holiday is celebrated on that day to counter-act the impact of the Winter Solstice which is a Pagan honoring of the shortest day of the year, you can decide what it all means to you. I grew up in a Jewish family in which Christmas was celebrated with friends of various Christian denominations. I would occasionally go to midnight services and bask in the beauty of the chapel all alight, the voices of the congregants singing in worshipful and lively tones, sometimes the freshly fallen snow enhancing the experience. Sitting at their dinner tables, I would gaze around and take in the joy as spiritual nourishment, as well as the physical sustenance of the food. For this ‘nice Jewish girl’ who became an interfaith minister, it is a chance to honor both the birth of a great teacher of love and the re-birth of the solar year. Celebrating both the Son and the Sun.
I wonder what has people so completely blind about what unites us rather than divides us. I imagine that for most, there is awareness of common thread of connection . My senses were delighted as I drove through my neighborhood on the way home from work tonight and noticed the rainbow colored lights aglow, reflecting off the marshmallow snowfall that had graced us today. Carol Of The Bells was wafting through the airwaves, soothing me after a long day at the office. I felt a connection with all souls who desire peace and cooperation. merging with the Christ Consciousness; that of love and light and unity with all that is, regardless of their own religious beliefs.
http://youtu.be/WSUFzC6_fp8 Carol of The Bells by Pentatonix