Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Merry Christmas!

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday's weather was clear and bright and sunny with temperatures near 70 degrees. The effect on my mood was like the lifting of a veil. I wouldn't exactly say I became a bundle of energy or a ball of fire but I felt better and my brain actually seemed to function properly. During the late morning I went for a walk in the park and it seemed like spring. The only things missing were blossoms on the trees and the songs of birds. In Kentucky you can sometimes experience all four seasons within the same week. Snow flurries are predicted for Saturday and that makes me happy, too. When I got back to my desk and looked out my window, I saw a car drive by with a Christmas tree tied to the top. It wasn't exactly the Griswold Family Christmas Tree but some one's trying to get in the spirit of the holidays.

This past weekend I was coming out of a restaurant when a stranger held the door open for me and said "Merry Christmas"! I was almost at a loss for words because I couldn't remember the last time anyone said that to me. Is it just me or have you also noticed the lack of verbal Christmas greetings in our culture? I know the last couple of years there has been some controversy over "Merry Christmas" versus "Happy Holidays". I think most people, regardless of their religious affiliation, recognize that Christmas has it's roots in the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus despite the over commercialization and secularization of this time of year. Christians believe that Jesus is the Light of the world. There is no historical proof that Jesus was born on December 25th. However, early Christians picked this time to celebrate the birth of Jesus because December 21st is the Winter Solstice and this is the darkest time of the year. What better time to celebrate the Light of the world than at the darkest time of the year? Celebrating Christmas on December 25th, therefore, has more of a symbolic meaning than an historical one.

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