There seems to be quite a bit of diversity when it comes to people’s outlook on Christmas. Some like to reflect on the “true meaning of Christmas” and some just want to get through Christmas. One of the biggest lessons I have been learning over the years is that there are less certainties in life than I use to believe. I have learned that I can’t know many things for sure but instead of this being a source of frustration for me, I find it exciting because it means there are many possible answers. This alone shatters many illusions of diversity. It means we are all right because none of us knows all the answers. What I believe is changeable and hopefully new and refining. What I learn are inklings of a bigger picture. They are small steps on a spiral staircase leading me to greater understandings of how deep and grand love really is.
Not everyone celebrates Christmas but here in the UK, the majority of people do in one way or other. I was surprised to notice that many Muslims write out Christmas cards and wish people a ‘Merry Christmas’ simply because we celebrate it. In the UK, we have a Christmas jumper day. Every year, many people donate to various charities and wear a (often cheese-y) Christmas sweater.
Sometimes, people choose to wear Christmas accessories instead such as earrings or a Santa hat or some tinsel. At work, there was a young Muslim girl wearing her head covering AND a reindeer headband on top. Some may say this is bordering on sacrilegious. I say it is religious perfection because whether this girl realized it or not, by wearing those reindeer antlers, she was practicing love and that my friends is true religion. Shouldn’t religion be about breaking walls and shattering the illusion that we are all just separate bodies?
Those of us who are practicing Christians believe that the birth, life and death of Christ was a huge act of love. God humbled Himself by taking on human form, lived as a human, died as a human and brought humanity to the Godhead. He became one with us all. He in each of us and each of us in Him. Therefore, the true meaning of Christmas has to be about love.
All of our answers about Christmas are correct as long as it’s foundation is love.
“It’s about giving and receiving presents.” Yes, because it is about giving and receiving love.
“It’s about spending time with family.” Yes, because it is about remembering our unity and connecting with one another in love.
“It’s for the children.” Yes because we want to bring joy to the children we love and we are happy simply making them happy. It is for all of us in that way too.
“It’s about Santa.” A figurative character based on a real person who practiced love by giving gifts to strangers.
“It is about Christ.” The one who shows and brings us perfect love.
What is the true meaning of Christmas for me? I think the true meaning of Christmas was captured in this Muslim girl wearing her reindeer antlers over her head scarf. She may not actually celebrate Christmas but she showed the true spirit of love by reflecting unity. She is my role model this week.