Monday, December 20, 2010

The Most Wonderful TIME OF THE YEAR

I am not anti-Christmas. I am not anti-Jesus. Actually, Jesus (whether a real person or fictional character) was a great teacher and I find value in the stories about his work. I would also like to note that I enjoy celebrations and birthday parties. Since I have no problem with Jesus, and I like a good party, I have no problem with Christmas. I mean, why not? Granted, the story of Christmas, at best, is a colorful piece of mythical literature, but that does not interfere with the essence of Christmas for me. Also, I think we all know that Jesus was not likely to have been born in December, but that is just a mere technicality, right? Let’s kick it anyway, but let’s address a few things first.

Apparently Christians have an issue with Atheists and other non-believers questioning the season. The “freedoms” that we have extend to all (U.S. citizens that are not imprisoned), right? I think the arrogance of Christianity drives many of us “indifferent” people away. Christians, you do NOT own December. How is it that you assume that all are comfortable with the widespread celebration of Christmas? Allow people to respectfully disagree with you. In addition to those who oppose Christmas, there are other celebrations and belief systems that are much older and many times more active during the ENTIRE year than this Christian holiday. This brings me to another observation.

Other factors that push the indifferent away are the obvious and sometimes overwhelming changes in human behavior for the weeks surrounding Christmas. All of a sudden, some people are nicer and more cheerful than usual and offering help and dropping gold coins in buckets. I get it; this time of the year brings out the best in people. The gestures are appreciated. Know this: People are hungry year-round. Children need clothes year-round. Humans desire to be loved year-round. It seems that many good deeds are packed into the month of December and as soon as the clock on your iPod strikes midnight on January 1st, it is back to business as usual. Again these are just MY observations. If this ain’t you, it ain’t you. Carry on. Be Authentic. (I had to slip this in somewhere.)

Concrete Jungle
I feel obligated to share with you how “business as usual” looks. Some charities are so overwhelmed with volunteers during Christmas that they have to turn some away, yet they struggle in the summer. Some charities raise more than half of their income during Christmas but are unable to break even in the summer. You know when poor children suffer the most? Yep, you guessed it, in the summer. Poor children rely on meals during the school year. When school ends, the consistent meals end. Many organizations that offer pantry and meal programs need donations and volunteers during THE SUMMER. Many poor children don’t have access to summer educational programs. It sure would be nice if volunteers would mentor during this time. Please consider celebrating the essence of Christmas year-round.

I think most feel that Christmas “should” be a time of sharing and spreading joy, but in reality some people mostly suffer from stress and overextension. Some create an ideal then struggle to duplicate. Many are not experiencing joy; they are merely trying to manufacture it. I don’t know many people who actually live in the essence of the season. Those few, who do live in the essence of the season, don’t differentiate this time of the year with any other. To them, any given day is a day to share, to enjoy, to care for our Earth, to be kind, and to be love.

We have allowed marketing executives to define Christmas. They have set the bar. They have determined the value. When people can’t meet those expectations, they can become anxious and unbalanced. Some people become so depressed they feel as though they can no longet live; death is their solace. With so much emphasis on the ideal, people can’t cope. This is insanity. We can change. We can make this right.

I sometimes daydream about the mountains we could move and harmony we could manifest if we brought “Joy To The World” YEAR-ROUND. I sometimes wonder how organic and habitual giving could be if we did it all the time. Gifts would be shared just because. People would lend a helping hand just because. Soup kitchens would never worry about having enough people to serve during any part of the year. The shift of energy from a four-week period to an all day every day celebration of humankind would send good vibrations all over the universe. I’ll even allow Christians to name this year-round love fest Christmas if it would get most of them to act more “Christ-like”. I could not care less about the title as long as good works were being done. Join me for a Christmas party in August!

*These are my observations. They are only meant to bring awareness. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate Christmas. There are no shoulds or should nots, but know this: make sure that what you are trying to do, match your efforts. Sometimes when we have a goal, what we are doing essentially takes us away from a goal instead of moving us closer to it.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your thoughts.