Here it is 2016 and another holiday is upon us. The years seem to fly by so quickly now. I can remember when it seemed eons before Christmas came around again. The anticipation of the aroma in the air, the gifts under the tree, the pilgrimage to Church and the family gatherings around delicious food and desserts. The feeling of belonging to a community whether you had family or not was so pronounced at Christmas. It was as if the world stood still while we celebrated. The culmination of it all would happen on New Year’s Eve when everyone celebrated just being alive for at least one more year.
Many people, myself included at times, can become very blue during this season, and I wish that wasn’t so because it is a happy time. A time to celebrate peace, love and joy that is all around us if we just look for it. Just being a part of this great world of ours is a reason to pause and say thank you. Christians, like myself, are happy because of the birth of Jesus Christ. He is our Saviour and our Lord. Many people of other religions celebrate something similar on their Holy Days and that tells me that we are in one way and another all connected. Not only do we share our human similarities, but we also share our faiths, we just acknowledge and practice them in different ways. Even atheists celebrate something probably nature itself if not a God.
So my fervent wish during this holiday season is that every person follow a dream, stop and realize what they do have and not what they don’t. Be glad that they are alive. Be happy that hope is always around the corner and we just have to look there to find it. My wish includes a hope that everyone celebrates and partys with joy in their hearts. Living for the moments we have and sharing that joy with others in anyway possible for them. My wish is that everyone have a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR.
Christmas time is one of my favorite times of year. My heart rejoices remembering that once a year a Man was born who influenced millions with His acts of kindness, His teachings of love and peace, the sacrifice He made of His life so that people would believe that His Words were true and that He worshiped God in every way. His birthday allows me, among many others to give gifts and to have hope that peace will spread by remembering this Man’s wondrous life.
It is also a time for joy and laughter. Family and friends who gather together to express their love for one another and to share in the happiness that this season brings. How can one not be joyful? One of my favorite activities is to decorate my home and try to make it welcoming and warm. Of course, I never have enough time or money to make it the way I would truly like it to be, but like so many others, I do the best I can with what I have.
Recently, the news has been filled with acts of violence and hatred, war and strife. It breaks my heart. I believe we have come so far along in our attitudes toward each other and our hope for peace and harmony, yet what I read in the paper or on the Internet or TV, frightens me. It dashes the hope that I had, especially in the year 2014, that people would end their historical biases and replace them with understanding, acceptance and goodwill. Extremists in every walk of life seem to be on the rise and their warped and hateful ideas are influencing people to harm one another. Those of us who believe as I do that the world is not such a bad place need to step up and overtake these extremists by acting with the example that the Man, Jesus Christ left us with. To truly honor His birth we need to spread peace, hope and charity. We need to believe in the goodness of all mankind and accept that people are different only on the outside. Inside we are all human beings who experience the same emotions, the same health issues, and the same inquisitiveness. Only we can change the course of the future. Only we can have the faith in humanity it takes to make that difference. One person at a time, one idea at a time, one act of kindness at a time is all it will take to begin the spread of peace. My remaining hope is that people wake up and realize the power they possess to change the way things are currently. Help yourselves and help the world by remembering that Christmas is a Merry time. Chanukah and Kwanza as well are Merry times. Let’s rejoice in the fact that we are all human beings and celebrate that very miracle. For it truly is a miracle that creates human beings and it bonds us together as nothing else could or would.
It truly doesn’t matter what color your skin is, or what job you hold, or how poor or rich you are those outside appearances are only superficial. What truly matters is how open your heart is, how curious your mind is and how willing you are to have peace and harmony rule your life. Christmas is the perfect time to set these ideas in motion. Spread this joy, this peace, this merriment. Keep the positive side of this humanity alive and I am certain you will find that you have squelched the extremists because of it. Believing in the power of humanity is the only “weapon” any of us will ever need to right the wrongs, gain the strength, and become joyous in every thing we say and do. There is always going to be suffering. People will get sick, people will be poor, people will have violence around them. It is all part of the human condition. There is always hope that a cure will be found, money will be earned, and the violence will end. There is hope because the birth of a Man on Christmas Day gave us that. Remembering the possibility of hope because we are all human is most times all we need. So have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah, a Happy Kwanza and a wonderful, hopeful, peaceful New Year!