December 25, 2006

THE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

Lileks writes about Kurt Gerstein today and warns that it's "not exactly holiday reading." But he hints that it is, and I'll take it one step further. We don't have kids. We don't have any family or friends here to celebrate with. We don't even have a tree up. So what does Christmas mean without all that? It means being thankful for all the blessings you have, and what better way to do that than to think about how absolutely worse life could be.

I heard Glenn Beck on the radio a few weeks ago saying something I haven't been able to get out of my head. He was talking about the so-called War on Christmas and how people get all bent out of shape about whether the Seattle Airport has any trees in the lobby. He said that these people are entirely missing the point about Christmas. He said that we can't even understand Thanksgiving -- that we've reduced it to food and football -- so if we can't even understand Thanksgiving, how can we possibly begin to understand the true meaning of Christmas?

What he said really got to me. Christians survived communism, a fate far worse than drama about airport decorations. People have been persecuted and killed for their beliefs, and they certainly didn't need a tree or presents to understand what Christmas means. People who truly believe in the meaning of Christmas don't need an airport tree to make them feel Christmassy, and they don't need to whine about any War on Christmas.

We don't need the trappings of Christmas to have the Christmas spirit in our hearts. But we do need the Kurt Gersteins, the deployed soldiers, the stories that remind us that all our bitching and moaning about where the tree should be placed or how long the lines are in the stores is really and truly absurd.

Read the story of Kurt Gerstein. And then wipe away the tears and think about how good your life is. And enjoy your Christmas, with our without a tree.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:28 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Merry Christmas to everyone!!!

Posted by: Shawn at December 25, 2006 04:05 PM (Wtqbn)

2 I live in the Seattle metro area, and what caused me grief about the airport story wasn't weather they *had* the trees. It was the fact that the trees were up, and according to the news story, a Rabbi threatened to sue if a Menorrah was not displayed as well. The port authority (who owns and operates the airport) decided to remove the trees at the threat of a suit. *THAT* is what drives me nutty. In the end, they negotiated with him, and he withdrew the lawsuit threat, with the agreement that next year there would be a 'multicultural' committee to define the decorations at the airport. And some (although not all) of the trees went back up. The concept of having to remove everything because of the possibility of insulting one person or group is overboard, me thinks!

Posted by: Barb at December 26, 2006 09:57 AM (PGzrn)

3 I actually had a conversation with someone at Christmas who said that the "Holocaust wasn't as bad as the Jews said is was, and the numbers just don't add up." His mother sat there with a look of horror on her face. I had to walk away.

Posted by: mare at December 27, 2006 05:14 AM (Oc90P)

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