What Christmas means to you (and me)

by Bob Schwartz

There are infinite stories about someone who has lost the “meaning” of Christmas, then through a series of plot points, finds the “meaning” of Christmas, which is defined in the story. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the most famous, and there are many more (watch Hallmark Christmas movies for a sampling).

This glosses over the fact that there are multiple meanings of Christmas for different people. For the faithful, it is in the first place (but not only) the birth day of the foretold Messiah. It is also a time to emphasize peace, good will, emergence from the darkest of winter to a brighter season. It is a time for giving (and receiving), which has helped transform it into a holiday of commercial opportunity. These are just some of the meanings.

For those without faith in the conventionally detailed Christmas story (but who may still find Jesus a worthy teacher), there is still much positive meaning to be mined. The questions for anyone is what Christmas means to you, if anything, and what it might mean.

For me, those things mentioned above—peace, good will, more light—are perfect. I can’t speak for anyone else, but there are plenty of days that are soiled and spoiled by conflict, ill will and shade. Having at least one day a year, especially during such challenging years, is the least we can aspire to.

Have a joyful Christmas!