I often hear Christians saying “Put the Christ back into Christmas.” And this has created a potential for conflict over the years.
Thinking about this over coffee this morning, I am reflecting on the increase in religious diversity and how there are now many religious celebrations widely observed during the month of December in North America. Many are related to the day when the winter solstice occurs. This varies each year between DEC-20 and 22. This date has the shortest daytime and longest nighttime in the year, in the Northern Hemisphere.
For us it is a metaphor relating to embracing our potential and a renewal of spirit, and a passing of the old stories we attach to in our past that held us back from fully engaging in life and fully inhabiting it. It’s a metaphor for moving beyond the mental habits and patterns that kept us stuck over the years in confusion or sadness, feeling overwhelmed. We observe the end of the shortest day of the sun, and look forward to the lengthening of the day. This is the passing of the moon and emergence of the sun. The alpha and the omega. We don’t worship the sun or gods, it’s our own esoteric belief and observance. In the sense of it all, we are existentialists. See my article on existentialism and what it means for me.
Now… Some religions, like Islam, use a lunar calendar which is not synchronized with the secular Gregorian calendar. Their celebrations occur about 12 days earlier each year in the Gregorian calendar.
Here is a short list of celebrations I know of. (Do you know any others?)
The “Return of the wandering goddess”
And Christmas and Christians.
Why are many groups moving away from the traditional Christmas celebration?
Greg and I celebrate Yule which is not the same as Christmas. So we enjoy the holidays just as anyone else in our own way. So I sell my art and soaps at Christmas/Yuletide craft fairs. This is because many people of different religions and non religious beliefs, give gifts for their own reasons or beliefs at that time of the year. And I accept diversity. Can you imagine how boring humanity would be without it?
Did you know … that the ancient Christians took over Saturnalia, an ancient Roman Pagan seven day festival of Saturn which started on DEC-17 and used it to commemorate the birth of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ)? In fact … Christ was born in the Fall.
But my point is that With such diversity- doesn’t it make sense to pursue peace and be accepting of others differences? Putting Christ in Christmas is a projection and judgment based on a Christian belief system and negates all others on the planet. Christmas is a term, but they don’t own the date or time of year. So whatever your reason, enjoy this time of the year with family and friends, or even for some peaceful time alone – to celebrate the past memories of the year, and to renew our excitement for the days ahead.
You don’t need to wait for New Years for a New Years resolution, because any moment is potential to embrace change. Your only point of power is now. The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet. The present is the Apex of change and every little step in progress.