“Mike, you’re not a Christian. Why are you celebrating Christmas?”
Well, gee, I’m also not a Pagan or a Wiccan, but I celebrate Halloween. Some holidays have become secular so that everyone can enjoy them. I know plenty of Jews who set up Christmas trees and exchange gifts. (And, even though I am not Jewish either, I join them for the traditional Christmas Chinese dinner.)
You don’t have to be Christian to agree that much of what Jesus taught were good ideas. Peace on earth, goodwill to all, caring for those less fortunate, being with your family — how can you be against that? Why wouldn’t you want everyone to share in that, no matter what their beliefs? Not to mention festive lights, presents, Christmas parties, Santa Claus, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” (The Chuck Jones one, not the Jim Carey one).
That’s why it’s so frustrating to have angry Christians complaining that we have stolen their religion (“Put Christ back in Christmas!”). Let’s ignore for the moment that Jesus was probably born in the spring (when shepherds watched their fields) and that much of this holiday was stolen from earlier religions. Wouldn’t a true Christian be happy that others are celebrating peace? That others use this season to promote the values they supposedly teach?
I know many Christians who welcome all to celebrate with them, no matter their beliefs. I have a feeling that this Jesus guy would approve.
It’s funny to me that you write this this way, because for years I have been the only one in my family who gives up anything for Lent. I’m Jewish and my husband is Catholic, so this gets some occasionally bewildered commentary but I have always thought that giving something up for 40 days is a great opportunity to improve yourself. It’s a perfect length of time to break a bad habit or make a new one (I gave up taking the elevator one year), and it always seems silly to me to limit such a wonderful idea to practitioners of a single religion.
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