We all have our traditions — this has been one of mine since I started blogging, fifteen years ago.
A quote from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which sums up my feelings regarding the holiday:
“There are many things from which I might have derived good, by which I have not profited, I dare say,” returned the nephew. “Christmas among the rest. But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys. And therefore, uncle, though it has never put a scrap of gold or silver in my pocket, I believe that it has done me good, and will do me good; and I say, God bless it!”
One of the greatest achievements of Dickens’ classic is the nearly single-handed creation of a sense of reverence in the secular aspects of the holiday season — a celebration of love, family, fellowship and charity, appealing to everyone regardless of their faith. A call to treat each other better, and to value the relationships that connect us to one another. That’s powerful magic.
Merry Christmas, all.
(Photo: Downtown Lawrence, Kansas — Christmas, 1939.)