I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know, but I just really like it.
It’s the holiday season. Christmas has arrived, with all the bells and whistles that come with it. The carolers have been coming to our house in droves, and I personally have run out of coins entirely from the waves of children popping by belting out the same iterations of the same songs over and over. Ought one wave come singing White Wine in the Sun, I’d give them a sizable sum.
Christmas has always been a mixed bag for me, and has been for a long time. As a nonbeliever in the Christian mythos, the spiritual core of the Christmas holidays has always been lost on me. Not to knock against anyone who does have the faith – while in my earlier youth I found it silly, I now hold the belief that spiritual guidance and direction hold merit and value for as long as it harms no one or tramples upon nothing. If belief gives the strength to hold against the tides of the world, then so be it.
True faith looks forward, not back.
This year has been tumultuous at best. Many events of historical significance have taken place, which I will not elaborate on. Here today we are to introspect on the bonds that make the holidays so significant, even to people such as myself.
Among the highlights of the year for me has been the addition of a new member to the family. My brother has had a child, who is now two months of age. She is a grumpy little thing, crying when I hold her, crying when I don’t hold her, and crying for anything in between. She tests my patience, and I would not change her for anything in the world.
She isn’t my child, and frankly, her existence puts many things in my worldview to question. Her presence has led to many doubts in my mind that is already terminally wracked with doubt, and I find myself constantly asking myself a variety of queries that lead to no answers in her presence.
But in the midst of the doubts I do know for certain that I love this child, though she may not be mine, and I know for certain that I have grown to care for family (normally a given, but I must admit to not being a particularly filial child).
This little girl probably does not know me yet, nor do I expect her to remember these moments once she’s grown up. But you will learn someday, that wherever you are and whatever you face, these are the people who’ll make you feel safe in this world, child. You may not remember them, but you will know that you will be loved.
And in the spirit of the holidays, think of the people that matter to you. The people who make you feel safe in this world. The people that truly matter. Inevitably, there will always be the irreducible minimum of people that we keep close to our hearts. Family, whether by blood or by bond.
These are our safe havens when the weight of the world becomes unbearable. In the holiday season, remember those that stand by us, those that stood by us, and those we stand by. There is no deeper political sentiment to this week’s piece – there is no deeper meaning. Only an invitation to introspect upon the bonds that form the true reason for the season. No gifts, no churches, no feasts – to my mind at least, Christmas is, and has always been, time with family.
I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know.