This is our 14-year-old daughter, Katie. We told her to put on her best teenager for our annual Christmas card and she nailed it.
Rena and I cooked up this idea to show how exasperating this time of year can be. So much seems to have to happen so fast. And we’re all expected to be so damn happy about it.
Christmas’ many dimensions — not all of them good — are confusing and exasperating. For me, it can ring with insincerity.
So I was refreshed to hear a sermon not long ago refuting the movement to stop saying “Happy Holidays,” and “put Christ back into Christmas.” The pastor pointed out that Christmas started long before Christ as a Pagan holiday celebrating the winter solstice. She said the spirit of Christmas is a spirit of rebirth, renewal, of turning toward brighter days ahead. It is this spirit of joy and good will that is important this time of year, not the semantics of a particular branch of a particular religion.
That rang true.
In our world, we have more in common than in conflict. The more people celebrating joy and love and compassion, the better. I don’t care what they call it.