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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

'Tis the Season

Merry Christmas, and the blessings of his holiday period, from the ADB family to your family.

This is the time of year when people who write blogs are supposed to get philosophical and profound about the true meaning of Christmas.

It's the day that Christians mark the birth of their savior. To be sure, historians have no idea what day He was born, and the early Church picked the winter solstice since the other religions active at the time (particularly Mithras, which very nearly won the competition to be the Roman Empire's new religion) had a big family party on that day and it was easier to get them to give up their paganism and join the Christians if they didn't lose a party in the deal. It doesn't matter if this is THE day Jesus was born; it matters that Christians take a day once a year to celebrate his birth.

The winter solstice is probably the human race's second oldest holiday (the first day of spring being the oldest). At some point, we got smart enough to track the shadows of a handy tree, and on this date the path of the sun reversed. It was on this day that everybody in the cave knew: this winter thing WILL end, it won't go on forever.

Other faiths, especially in the US, used whatever minor holiday was around the same time (Hanukka, Eid) to join in the fun of parties and presents and greetings and families. It's one time a year that we can all try to be friendly to everybody, just because it's that season. Kwanza was, more or less, invented to build a sense of community among a group that faced its own challenges. Family is important, and the Christmas Card thing is your one chance a year to keep track of which of your relatives that you haven't talked to in a year are still alive. Make it a point to call them, and make it a point to call them again before this time next year.

The true meaning of Christmas (or the "holiday season" if you insist?). Take a day to honor your own faith, and just as importantly take the day to be with your family.