Posted by: Kerry Gans | December 25, 2014

The Christmas Dichotomy

DSCN0640Christmas has always been my favorite holiday—and not because of the presents. My husband can attest that I am impossible to buy for, because I want very little. Ever since I can remember, though, something about the Christmas season spoke to me deeply.

Back when my eyes were good enough to read in low light, I would cuddle up next to our Christmas tree and read books. The cold, sometimes snowy, weather fosters togetherness. Snow turns the mundane outdoors into a magical land. People seem more cheerful, and they tend to care about their fellow man more.

There is peace and hope.

And yet, Christmas can also be very difficult for some people. The intense social interactions of Christmas parties and family dinners can highlight people’s loneliness. Those suffering physical or mental illnesses can feel more isolated than usual. Other people’s joy can throw your own sadness or grief into high relief. And for introverted people like me, the constant company of people—even though I love spending time with family and friends—can drain my energy to the point of exhaustion and tears.

In spite of my sense of peace during the holidays, I know that suffering continues for many. Bad things still happen. Poverty, theft, injury, death. Despite the Christmas light, darkness still exists for many. For me, reconciling the pain in the world with the peace promised in the season is the dichotomy of Christmas.

That’s where the hope comes in. The hope that we can help make the world a better place. That next year those suffering will not be. That we will have found a way to raise humanity to a higher moral ground than this year. That the hate will be less and the love will be more.

While Christmas is a Christian holiday (layered on top of a pagan holiday), you don’t have to be Christian or even religious to believe in the spirit of Christmas. We are all Santa Claus. We can all deliver goodwill toward our fellow man. Instead of getting gifts, we can all use our gifts to make this world a better place.

So Merry Christmas to all of you, and may you find peace and joy on this day and every day.

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Responses

  1. May the Christmas spirit bless you and your family!

    Like


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