This year I managed to get my Christmas cards out in the mail and on time. A huge feat for me, an incredibly busy single mom and student and everything else. We took some lovely pictures, which I edited myself, a few clicks on Shutterly, and I popped those suckers in the mail.
Aside from the incredibly cute pictures of little e, the cards read, “Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas,” a quote by Coolidge. I got to thinking about what I put on those cards and why I chose it. The Christmas season is filled with an abundance of shopping advertisements marked by this particular time of year. On a popular Christian radio station the other day one host proclaims, “This year (much to his amusement) the stores had chosen to use the term “Christmas” as opposed to “Holiday” finding such term usage has instigated a rise in sale percentages.” I was, myself, highly disturbed by this tactic and the hosts reaction to it. Obviously, he was joyed to see the commercial industry’s embrace of his spiritual Christmas—shockingly I think he missed the real point, though. That is, Christmas, the real meaning, has nothing to do with any one term or commercialism and will never correlate to gift buying, stores, and monetary profit in any way. He went on to relate that the city of Philadelphia had chosen this year to change their sign heading on the local nativity to, “Happy Holidays” as opposed to the previous years’, “Merry Christmas,” adding, “seems like the city of brotherly love isn’t very brotherly this year” and at that juncture I changed the station.
My point, Christmas is not a time of year in which the focus should be on buying, nor is it characterized absolutely by any one term, whether that be “Christmas,” “Holiday,” “Hannukah,” “Las Posadas,” “Kwanza,” etc. Instead, it’s like Coolidge said, “a state of mind,” where one can then cherish peace and goodwill and exude a merciful spirit. Therefore, Christmas (or whatever term you choose) is defined by how you feel inside and how those feelings then reflect on others around you. It is acceptance, love, and from this comes happiness.
So, little e, ini, and I wish you all a very HAPPY Christmas (or Holiday, or Hannakuh, or Las Posadas, or Kwanza, or just “day”) one that is filled with brotherly love and contentment lending to peaceful mercy, love, and goodwill.