During this time of year, there is so much activity and focus on one of the holidays called “Christmas.” Its origin has led to a colossal mixture of ways in which we celebrate. Each celebration appears to include symbolism pointing to a new beginning.
For the Christian community, it is identified as a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. For others, it is the time to celebrate the Winter Solstice, which marks the onset of winter at the time of the shortest day. It determines the number of hours and minutes each hemisphere receives sunlight, so these festivities focus on the sun.
In many families, it is a time of gift-buying and giving, Christmas trees, gleeful smiles of expectation of toys, games, and other items on wish lists of young people and Santa Claus for small children.
Then, there is the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the feast of dedication and festival of lights celebrating the miracle of the one-day supply of oil that extended the flame in the Temple for eight days. This is not a celebration of Christmas, but its celebration date falls within the Christmas holiday season.
And there is still one more thing to be added to the mix—depression. With this year being one of the most unusual to be recorded in history, some people will not find it a particularly appealing time. There is an endless list of things that could cause depression or dampen our spirits. However, I will not mention them since they remind me of gutter balls in a bowling alley or a foul ball at a baseball game. In either scenario, there are no shouts of victory.
Given this mixture, how can each of us appreciate and enjoy the holiday? Here are a few thoughts on the subject:
In other countries, they celebrate their traditional Christmas holiday in multiple ways. We are blessed in this country to be able to enjoy this holiday season with different views. Respect for the opinions of others is one of our freedoms even though we may disagree with their thinking. During this season, if we thank God for His everlasting gift of Love for all of us and acknowledge that all perfect gifts come from Him, then true celebration is expressed. (Psalm 103:17; John 3:16; Romans 8:39; James 1:17).
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