Don Quixote and I were at the local mall. The mall was getting ready for the shopping season, and it has some special events planned. It even had a sign:
If you’re like DQ and me, you realize that something is missing from the sign: there’s no mention of the actual holiday being celebrated, with the exception of a reference to some guy named Santa and a title allocated to December 24th — Christmas Eve. Otherwise, we’re simply assured there are events going on to celebrate something, but we’re never told what the something is.
As a Jewish kid (admittedly, non -eligious, but definitely still Jewish), who grew up in a majority Christian culture that wasn’t embarrassed about showing itself, I adored the blessings of beautiful music, lovely images, and general joie de vivre. At school, I learned all the carols, religious and secular, and can still belt them out with the best of them. My kids know only Frosty, Rudolph, and Jingle Bells — good songs all, but such a minute fraction of the rich Christmas repertoire. It’s only through their involvement in choral groups that they’re being exposed to the beautiful things men and women created as part of their religious celebrations and faith.
I’ll leave you with an antidote to the above sign, and an urge that you wish your friends a “Merry Christmas,” as well a happy or merry “whatever it is that they celebrate” this holiday season. And if your friends are like me, they’ll appreciate the fact that, in America, people share their holiday celebrations without rancor or pressure.