Some people may say Christmas is family gathering, peace on earth (if only for a brief moment), brotherhood, community, love, joy, magical and abundance. Skeptics may call it over-indulgence, commercialized, mythical, greed-driven....well, you get the idea. But what it is really, is the start.
Like it or not, Christmas has its origins in faith, belief and hope. Even our very calendar is based upon the birth of the child in the manger, and our week begins on Sunday, the day of the week Christians believe Jesus' was resurrected. There is more influence too in our daily lives, but suffice it these two things demonstrate how important this one birth was to the world. Unfortunately, it's sometimes easy to forget just how important.
Many of you may know about my children's book that is in the hands of an agent. It is Christmas-themed and blends a little of the secular with the non-secular. (I hope there is a publisher willing to help make this world a little less confusing for children, and enable them to focus on the truths that encompass our humanity.)
As a parent, it was always a bit of a struggle to differentiate Santa from the real celebration which was Jesus' birth. Tell a child Christmas is Jesus' birthday and, of course, they will be excited − any youngster loves a good birthday! But there's more to it than that.
I wrote the book because we need to go one step further in explaining Christmas − we need to explain the significance of Jesus' birth and what it means for us today. There is so much good surrounding this event that even people without faith embrace the best of what it evokes.
So what does Christmas mean to me? It means the start. It's the beginning of learning how we should treat our fellowman, the first tutorial on the meaning of our existence, the beginning of instruction on how to live a better life, and perhaps most importantly, why we Christians believe we will be with loved ones again.
Whatever Christmas means to you, may you embrace its goodness and share it with the world, and Merry Christmas to all!