Friday, December 19, 2008

What it means to me

Christmas means much more to me than listening to carols beginning the day after Thanksgiving. And it means much more than the decorations that are hung at the malls the day after Halloween. It is sad that the Lords of Marketing are in charge of how and when Christmas begins and ends. On December 26th carols no longer play in the malls or on the radio, decorations are removed, all because the Lords of Marketing say it is so. Those who revel in the Christmas season know better, Christmas starts on December 25th and ends on January 6th, the Twelve Days of Christmas.

I constantly remind myself of why it is that I give presents to my loved ones on Christmas. I give gifts, to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, whose purpose was greater than any born before or after. I want to buy and present gifts to commemorate, not to engage in the Lords of Marketing skewed view of this magical season, but rather to perpetuate the magic of the season. To teach my children, who celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, that each celebrate miracles. The miracle of the oil lasting eight days, when it was thought only to be enough for one day and the miracle of baby Jesus. Miracles. True miracles.

It is a miraculous time and sadly it is overshadowed by the numbers of gifts under the tree. In a time when companies are reporting larger than ever losses, people are losing their jobs, well respected investors are swindling billions of dollars and U. S. auto makers are looking for bail out, isn't it time to rethink it all?

The chorus to O Holy Night sums it all up for me, and never ever ceases to give me goose bumps or make me cry.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!