Christmas is about the gift. People scrabble for the best prices on the gifts that they are buying for their friends and loved ones. That’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m talking about the gift that changed the world. It took several hundred years, almost a thousand for the gift to change the world, but it did, whether it was for the better or not depends on your point of view. There are arguments for both sides of that question. I won’t go into that quagmire.
Some people embraced the gift enthusiastically, while others were forced to accept it. That’s where the question of whether it was good or bad for the world come in. I am, of course talking about Christianity. It was a gift to the world that should have been offered and accepted freely, not forced, but I digress. If you read the New Testament in the Christian Bible, carefully, you can find that it is open to interpretation. Christ actually preached tolerance, so it’s rather ironic that in the Dark Ages, Christianity was forced on pagan peoples.
Except for this time of the year, we tend to forget the tolerance part of the teachings of Christ. That’s where we fail. So we practice it only once a year. we moan that Christmas starts too early and I admit that I’m one of the people who complain about. however, we have to accept that we shouldn’t limit the Christmas spirit to one or two months out of twelve. It should be something that we practice year round. We should accept our differences whether we are followers of Christ, Islam, or Judaism.
Christians complain about the phrase Happy Holidays, because they think it should be Merry (or Happy) Christmas. I looked up December Holidays on the Internet and found one for Buddhism, fifteen for Christianity, Hanukkah for Judaism, one for Hinduism, a couple for Islam, and several for paganism. It’s not just Christmas, people. Granted Christmas is the best promoted, but it isn’t the only holiday in December. So Happy Holidays is not appropriate.
The gift was not intended to create a rift, but that’s what happened. There’s nothing we can do to change it. All we can do is accept that not everyone follows the same faith and let the rest go. We can’t seem to do that. I don’t know why, but that is the issue. We need to examine the gift and realize that it was intended to promote peace and harmony, not grief and strife. Once we do that, most of the world’s problems will fade away. At least, those that are caused by this difference of opinion. The ones that result from a lack of resources will continue, despite our best efforts. All that aside, whatever your beliefs, I hope you have a peaceful and joyful holiday, whichever one you celebrate.