Sometimes one forgets. Christmas is one of those times where a cynical view will cause one to forget the facts. Christmas was never about being accurate. Christ was not born at this time of the year, we are months off from the time writings record his birth. Santa Claus has never been a shared point of everyone’s history and tradition. Most of the traditions that Christmas has come to be known for were developed long after there were those celebrating the holiday.
Christmas is an ideal. The ideal contains foundation principles that, when embraced, change the person that chooses to celebrate the season. I do not think that I know or appreciate just how many principles are wrapped up in the season. There are several Christmas principles that change the rest of the year for me.
It is a time where celebration trumps war; peace dominates conflict. Christmas reminds us that we do not always need to win in order to win. We do not always need to go to battle when someone disagrees with us. Most importantly, we do not need to distance ourselves from those who would distract or deter us from our goal.
Christmas speaks to the idea that we are family. You and me, as different and alike as we can be, are family. My enemy and brother are family. We are a community that finds meaning in context to each other. We are in this together! We share our roots and destination.
Christmas tell us a story of what happens when we put kindness before justice, compassion and mercy before being fair. We are human and God calls us a friend. We fail in this and yet make a difference to those around us.
We forget. We also forget that we are the place where God lives. Divinity is in and among us. In this space, an old reminder takes on new meaning. “No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.” (1 Corinthians 3.17)