I love Christmas.
More precisely, I love the Christmas story.
A story about a baby, laying in a manger, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds and kings.
I love the story, and I love all the side-stories that have sprung up around it. The animals talking at midnight. The Little Drummer Boy.
I do not consider myself a religious person, but I love that story.
I’ve always loved the nativity stories better than the Santa stories. A few years ago, I realized that I had inadvertently started collecting books telling different versions of the story. I own no less than 4 nativity sets. The opening words of the second chapter of the Book of Luke: “And it came to pass…” give me goosebumps. Even as a little girl, I preferred Away in a Manger to Jingle Bells.
To me, the story of a baby, born in a barn/a stable/a cave, lain in a manger, kept warm by the breath of the animals, bathed in the light of a star, was/is/has always been as magical as any story about flying reindeer or elves on shelves.
I don’t know if it’s true, if it’s based in truth, if it’s a parable, a fable, or simply… a story.
It honestly doesn’t matter to me. I’m not sure it matters AT ALL.
The thing is this: it is a story, about a baby. A BABY. And, whatever you believe, that story — fact or fiction, myth or metaphor — changed the world.
A STORY ABOUT A BABY CHANGED THE WHOLE WORLD.
And so, my dear friends, no matter how you celebrate or ignore that story; whether you have Baby Jesus or Santa or Rudolph or Dominic the Christmas Donkey; whether you do midnight mass or sleep till noon; whether it is turkey or prime rib, or Chinese food on your table; whether you surround yourself with loved ones or hide out by yourself; whether you have the week off or you volunteer to work; whether you drop thousands of dollars or don’t spend a cent; whether you go to your mom’s or go to the movies…
May it be silent, whatever silent means to you.
May it be holy, whatever holy means to you.
May it be calm, may it be bright.
May it be happy.
May it be merry.