Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Late morning on Christmas Day. By this time, most of us, particularly those of us with children, have unwrapped presents. Living rooms have been transformed to heaps of discarded wrapping paper, each family member is giving their gifts a trial run, and we are all collectively basking in a sense of accomplishment. Another Christmas brought to a successful conclusion. Soon there will be lights to put away, ornaments to remove, and expenditures to contemplate, but for right now, we are content to bask in the lazy warmth of Christmas Day.

Or so it goes for some of us, that is.

My Christmas wish this year is to remember those who have no family to return to this season and thus are sitting at home alone, painfully aware of said fact. My Christmas wish this year is to remember those those for whom holiday gatherings entail familial obligation, but no real sense of familial love. My Christmas wish this year is to remember those for whom even the mention of the word "Christmas" connotes worry and negative feelings. My Christmas wish this year is to remember those who are separated from their family: fighting wars, working, or otherwise occupied with demands which keep the away from their loved ones.
Today's editorial section in the local paper, The Birmingham News, sums it up better than I could.

...[I]t's easy to forget this in the frenzied activity that so often leads up to this day. We stress out. We fight our way through the crowds in the stores. We overspend. We cook and eat more food than sanity should allow. Sometimes, we put impossible demands on the ones we love and on ourselves.
That's true even of Christians, for whome this holiday is supposed to honor the birth of Jesus and to commemorate the greatest gift of all time. It's a great irony that we have come to equate
hostile parking-lot standoffs and tense family gatherings with a holiday that marks God sending a Savior to identify with and ultimately restore our fallen humanity.

The best manifestations of Christmas should not be confined to one month, let alone one day. One day of giving cannot make up for 364 days of neglect, whether it's downtrodden strangers or your very own family.

Merry Christmas to all, and especially to the ones we often overlook!

*In the meantime, Mom and Dad remind us all to keep it real.


Dr. Zaius said...

OK, Your Mom and Dad are scaring me now. Merry Christmas, Comrade Kevin!

Anonymous said...

I thought I'd included you in a Christmas email CK; I discovered I didn't, just now. My apologies Brother Kev. I hope it was very very good to you. And I think your folks are not just cppl but entirely age appropriate for family viewing ;-)

Anonymous said...

Not cppl.... cool. (My eyes aren't age enhanced)