There is a belief in some corners that Christmas is becoming endangered, that the country has become so secular that it has less and less tolerance for such overt religious holidays.
This belief, however, does not jibe in the least with what we all clearly can see for ourselves: The “war on Christmas” is mostly being waged by people who believe in it.
Nothing has become more commercialized, more monetized than Christmas: The miraculous story of an infant whose parents were too humble, poor and powerless to even secure a decent place for his birth.
At some point in our lives, we all have had things that we hoped to receive for Christmas—but what is it, exactly, that we need?
As it stands, certainly we could use more kindness. It feels as though the country has spent most of the year brawling about one thing, then another. It threatens to obscure the first message bestowed on that first Christmas, of “goodwill toward men.”
We should want to embrace the values we saw practiced during that first Christmas, values that made it all possible. The empathy that allowed the little family a place in which to deliver their child, the protective gentleness of the shepherds “keeping watch over their flock by night,” and the generosity of the Magi, whose homage and generosity ensured their immortality.
We should want to practice selflessness in the form of giving to others, not just materially, and not just to the people we know and love.
We should desire peace and patience in this most hectic time of year.
No waffle iron, no parking space, no video-game console is worth getting into a fist-fight.
We need freedom from guilt in a culture that suggests the only way we can show people we love them at Christmas is to buy them something.
What we all should want is happiness, health and a positive perspective over the holidays, rather than getting sucked into the madness that comes with overspending, overindulging and overextending ourselves.
Frankly speaking, if you’re reading a lifestyle magazine, you probably aren’t in need of much in the way of more material goods.
Those things, which can’t be seen, are the kinds of gifts that truly do keep giving because they’re so rare. Their value is immeasurable and priceless.
Most importantly, we should want reminders at every turn that Christmas isn’t about us and what we might buy or receive. We should want to be reminded that Christmas is about more than a single day, that it’s about something much greater than ourselves.