The True Meaning of Christmas
by: Gordon Barthel
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Once again, Christmas is upon us, and I know this because the stores have their Christmas decorations out for sale. And once again, I hear about the true meaning of Christmas being lost in the commercialization.
And once again, I ponder the true meaning of Christmas because I am not a religious person so the religious meaning is lost on me. And I am not a huge fan of wanton consumption so the commercialization means I need to zealously avoid retail stores til January.
And yet, I am not opposed to celebrations. Truthfully, I like celebrations, especially the abundance of food and wine. And sometimes I like the presents and sometimes I am not overly fond of the presents, but it’s the thought . . .
So, if I am not celebrating Christmas for the traditional religious reasons, then why am I celebrating it? Every year I ponder this issue and every year I enjoy the celebrations and every year I must defer the true meaning of Christmas over to next year in the hopes that next Christmas, I might be so incredibly lucky that I solve the riddle.
And so, another Christmas season begins. The stores all have their Christmas trees and Christmas decorations conspicuously displayed as Christmas music wafts down from the speakers. And we have dutifully hung the Christmas lights on the eaves before the arctic air freezes my digits. And once again, I come across the annual debate over the true meaning of Christmas.
And then a proverbial light bulb goes off inside my head, an LED light because I don’t have a lot of excess wattage upstairs which explains why it only took twenty years to figure it out.
But anyway, the true meaning of Christmas, my true meaning of Christmas, is love - love for family and friends, love for coworkers and neighbours, love for my countrymen and love for all humankind.
Even religious people could handle this. Christian folk can celebrate their love for Jesus and those of other religions can celebrate their love for humanity. And everybody can celebrate their love for the less fortunate by giving a little to reputable charities.
And so, I may not be religious and I might even be going to Hell (assuming it exists), but for me, the true meaning of Christmas is love - love for family, friends, neighbours and . . . good heavens, who am I kidding, that’s as far as my affections go.
And how do we show that love? Well, we have a grand feast, maybe not the grandest feast in the history of grandiose feasts, but for us, it is grander than our regular meals. We talk and we laugh as we eat way to much food and then we have fun playing some games. We even swap gifts, not because the almighty corporations say so but because we love each other and we have never heard of sensible people giving gifts to people they detest (like greedy corporate CEOs). And we share a bottle or two of wine before diving into some decadent dessert.
And so, we gain five, ten or twenty pounds because we love our family and friends so much we need the extra weight to shoulder all the affection.
Yes, the true meaning of Christmas is love.
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