May The Spirit of Christmas Be With You...!
AS Andy Williams used to sing, the Christmas Season is the "hap-, happiest season of all!"
WHY is that? And better yet, why can't we maintain the Spirit of Christmas all year 'round?
WELL, I have a cynical answer to the second question, but let me try to answer Question #1 first.
AS a Christian holiday, Christmas is the celebration of their Savior, Jesus Christ. Without his birth, Christians could not be "saved" from their sins, which is quite a big deal! So for Christ to be born so that Christians may experience Salvation - well that indeed is cause for celebration!
AS a secular event, society as a whole has commercialized the six-week period of Thanksgiving through New Years' Day into a period of gift giving and family get-togethers. People rejoice in the giving (and receiving!) of gifts, getting together with those they love, and eating lots of good food. That's a trifecta of ecstasy!
BUT if we acted happy and delirious all year 'round, then we wouldn't appreciate the good times when they come around! And let's be real, people can only be happy and upbeat for so long!
IT saddens me that political correctness no longer allows for people to say "Merry Christmas", as if that were insulting to a non-Christian. Thou must say "Happy Holidays", lest you insult someone. Bah humbug.
I think that the "spirit" of Christmas is amazing and infectious, and is felt by all. My aunt is an atheist, yet she loves this time of year. She loves the festivities, the lights, and the cookies that she bakes only this time of year. When you go to the mall, look around and you'll see Muslims, Jews, Christians (and atheists too), walking around with packages on their arms, smiles on their faces, and joy in their hearts.
SO with that, I wish that "The Spirit of Christmas" is upon you this year, and that you are able to spend it with those you love.
- Bob Oppermann