Even if you don’t celebrate it. In which case, have a lovely, gracious day anyway.
Though I am not of the Christian persuasion, I still love this day for the celebration of family and friends that it is. A long history of winter feasts predates Christmas by millennia. It was a time to welcome back the return of the sun, the lengthening of days that signified that a new spring would be coming, and with it life renewed.
Is it any wonder that the early church chose this holiday as the perfect place to celebrate the birth of their god? The coming of the sun/son already had an established history from which to work. Bless those Romans, they were the best at vacuuming up local culture and using it to their advantage.
For me, the celebration of Christmas is a wonderful time to enjoy family and reach out to those less fortunate. Looking upon the most classic of Christmas stories, Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.” one can see that, while there is much talk of kindness and generosity, there is no real talk about Jesus. It’s not a Christian story; it’s a human story. A tale of how our humanity is impacted by our interaction with the world.
For me, today will be a day of family and friends, of feasting and laughter. The fruited bread is rising, the fire is roaring, and a leisurely morning will soon give way to excited children and chattering adults. We will deep-fry the turkey that’s currently brining, cook the ham and the rolls and the potatoes. Everyone will come to the table to feast.
So whether you are feasting with family, taking in a day of movies and Chinese food, or just hanging out, I wish you the best of the day, and a happy final week of 2011.