|A Family 'breaking bread' in Celebration of Christmas|
I was reading an article by Veritas Curat in the Daily Kos on The Real Meaning of Christmas. It was lengthy and provided a wealth of information. Some of it I didn't know (did some research) and some of it I had read from other sources and frankly forgot about over the years.
Numerous sources as well as the writer of this article addressed how some aspects of paganism became a part of the celebration with in-depth clarity. No one knows for sure when Jesus was born but as a political move and a means of converting others to Christianity , the Romans decided to celebrate the "True Nativity" on December 25th. The latter date was actually close to the timeline when the "heathens" would glorify the birthday of the Sun (Winter Solstice). The decorated tree, holly, festivals of lights, gift giving as well as other pagan rites became a part of what we celebrate now as Christmas. The middle and upper classes were responsible for the commercialization of the "holy-day" and it's been an ongoing struggle between the religious community and the capitalists over the "true meaning" of the holiday.
There was a time when I questioned trimming a tree, decorating the house and buying gifts, however, I've come to realize that they aren't distractions for many of us. The true meaning of Christmas reigns and it's manifested in outreach activities that entail providing food, lodging, clothing and a myriad of services for the"least of these" and those who have encountered unforeseen hardships. As one who leans more towards spirituality and ecumenical beliefs; I see no contradiction in celebrating centuries of love and goodwill to others with or without the 'trappings'.
With all that said; I believe that this "holy-day" represents the best of humanity and families who draw strength and purpose from celebrating love, tolerance,goodwill and caring for others. For Christian believers, it's foremost the celebration of the birth of a baby who became to many a savior destined to redeem humankind with grace and salvation. His name is Jesus Christ.