A Time for Meaning
When it comes to the holidays, it is easy to get a little cynical. Every year it seems as though as soon as the Halloween decorations are down, Christmas lights go up. In fact, I just attended a Christmas event downtown – and as I write this, it is only mid-November.
From a commercial point of view, it only makes sense: a longer Christmas season equals a longer shopping season. However, most of the people I know still wait for the absolute last minute to purchase their gifts. It must be a holiday tradition for them, although for the life of me I can’t fathom stress, crowds, loud music, and probably spending way too much money as positive traditions to pass along.
I am not going to complain about the decorations going up early, though. Even though I know Christmas is still weeks away, and even though I don’t even celebrate that particular holiday, I think colourful lights and trees and such are beautiful. They really do add light and colour to an otherwise often dark and dreary time of year.
Yes, it is easy to write off Christmas as another commercialized holiday (and to a large extent, it is). However, there are many to whom Christmas is important for spiritual reasons, and even though I do not share those particular beliefs I have a lot of respect for people who celebrate their religious holidays with reverence and authenticity. In turn, I also appreciate the respect I am given for my beliefs and celebrations.
So, the holidays can really be a time to build mutual understanding and respect between community members. Whatever holiday you observe, have a meaningful celebration!