Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas

Last night after dining with some friends, my Gal Friday (and every other day of the week) chauffeured yours truly around to see Christmas decorations.  The night was crisp and clear with a full moon lighting our way.  Of course the van's headlights helped too.  After feasting on a delicious presentation of veal piccata with a pasta side dish and sipping on some liquid of the grape (the name of which I can't even pronounce, much less spell), I felt in a well-sated and glorious mood.

She drove me to see many homes decorated with wonderful displays of Christmas lighting.  One place had the whole house, trees, bushes and man-made configurations depicting Santa and his sled among other things, covered with lights that blinked on and off to the beat of different Christmas tunes.  We listened to the music by dialing a specific station on the car radio.  Quite impressive to say the least.

As we continued our gawking at more dazzling displays and even in my euphoric state, a feeling of loss crept into my awareness. I wasn't sure what this represented, but it wouldn't leave me. Later, after bedding down, I silently deliberated on this sadness I harbored and why. Did the festive lighting remind me the holiday season brought on bittersweet memories of my departed parents and siblings? No, that wasn't it; I believe they're in a better place free of life's woes. Could it be I wouldn't be sharing the joy of Christmas Day with my daughters and their families? No, I'm not one of those parents who can't let go. I'm ecstatic my daughters have wonderful families of their own to enjoy not just holidays, but the special moments of everyday living.

So why did this sense of loss overcome me? There are certain times I, along with many others, wonder about my degree of sanity, but I didn't think I had taken that last step yet. Although if I had entered the land of the totally confused, would I know it? Let's drop this subject; it hits too close to home.

Then suddenly, during my evening chat with the Almighty, the answer to my dilemma flashed into focus.  Recalling our visit to the homes with the Christmas displays, I realized what I missed.  The loss I felt was Jesus.  Gal Friday and I saw some astounding displays of Santa and all his counterparts, but very few, if any, references to Jesus.  Don't worry, I'm not about to expound on taking Christ out of Christmas as so many have done.  This is just a note on a personal outlook. My politics don't direct me to any left or right wing extremes and in fact I'm what many would call a centralist independent. My political decisions are based on individual cases, not party lines.

Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Rastafari and the Baha'i Faith all spawned from a common basis-- the founding patriarch, Abraham.  Other major religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, etc. are based in various other beginnings.  The largest of the Abrahamic religions, in numerical order, are Christianity, Islam and Judaism.  As most of the world recognizes, only the Christians observe Christmas.  I just wonder if we Christians forget that it's Christ's birthday, not Santa's.

Well, Merry Christmas to all my Christian friends; Happy Holidays to all the others; and a safe, joyful and healthy New Year to all.

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