Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Secular (x)mas

So it's December 24th and I've already had two Muslims and a Buddhist wish me a Merry Christmas; it's a beautiful thing.

Plenty of Christians see the secularization of this holiday as an evil force (I may have been one of them not so long ago), but I've learned to welcome it with open arms.

Christmas in Canada truly is a North American tradition, with a meaning strictly aligned with the North American mindset. Santa and chocolate, decorations, movies and music -- that's what Christmas has become. And in the spirit of multiculturalism, I'm all for it.

The spiritual aspect can still translate across all religions and cultures. Christmas isn't a celebration of a singular person, it's a celebration of our existence in a world with conscience. You don't need to hear a sermon to understand that.

Whatever you do on the day off, do it --at least in part-- to benefit someone...anyone.

I'm going to try and practice a bit of empathy this year. If you're sitting around at a family function wishing you were someone else, take a look at some of your older cousins or second cousins or friends or parents, and think about what this means to them. Then you can remind yourself again that this holiday isn't about a singular person, and it certainly isn't just about you.

If you aren't Christian, don't take offence when I say merry Christmas, because Christmas is bigger than Christianity over here, and it means something different to everyone. Whatever you decide that it means, make it about more than yourself.

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