The Reason for the Season

I was in my local charity shop recently scanning the selection of Christmas cards, hoping to find some that portray the essence of this time of year. I did find what I was looking for but not after quickly realising that Christmas is slowly dying. Why is it that we are afraid of wishing someone a Happy Christmas? What is so scary about the word Christmas? Why now is Christmas referred to as a ‘season’?

Indeed, I don’t understand (and maybe somebody can help me here) how in fact Christmas can be called a ‘season’? How can non-Christians celebrate Christmas when it is a religious celebration? That without Christianity there would be no Christmas, no presents under the tree, no stockings laid upon the fireplace and no Father Christmas. There would not be a ‘season’ without the birth of Jesus Christ.

Why is it frowned upon as a Christian to openly talk about your religion? Sitting here now and writing these words, I have thought twice about publishing this for fear of being labelled as ‘religious’. I am a practising Catholic, yet do not refer to myself as ‘religious’. I have faith and I am spiritual but not religious, simply due to the connotations that word brings. I do not believe I have the right to proclaim that Christianity is the only genuine religion in the world, in the same way those of other faiths have no right to proclaim the invalidity of Christianity. I come from a multi-cultural and multi-religious background and as an Anthropologist, I empathise with Emile Durkheim (1858 – 1918) in maintaining that all world religions are based on a human need and so in turn none can be deemed as illusory.

So as you sit beside your Christmas tree next month and as you open your gifts on Christmas Day, remember the ‘reason for the season’. I am not asking you to believe, I’m not asking you to sing religious carols, I’m not even asking you to attend Church but at least ask yourself why there is a Christmas…

Finally, I’d like to be the first to wish you all:

Happy Christmas

Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah

Shuvo Naba Barsha

Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad

Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova

Christmas Aao Ne-way Kaal Mo Mobarak Sha*



3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cr
    Dec 13, 2009 @ 11:50:44

    I am pleased to say that the Christian depiction of Christmas does seem to be coming back into fashion. At my granddaughter’s school they had a traditional nativity play and the classrooms and hallways are full of traditional nativity pictures. There are nativity tableaux in several shopping centres and according to the newspapers the sales of “holy” Christmas cards have rocketed.
    Cynically one could say this is because everything else is so depressing at the moment but even if that is the reason at least it shows that in times of crisis people still turn to and place their hopes in a loving, caring God.


  2. cr
    Dec 13, 2009 @ 11:52:03

    Further to my previous comment, they also told the nativity story on CBeebies!


  3. alphabetgames
    Dec 14, 2009 @ 10:17:51

    It’s good to know that all is not lost. Thank you for commenting and raising my faith in the acceptance of Christmas. There is still hope yet!!

    Correct me if I’m wrong but is that the first time in some years that the nativity story is told on CBeebies? I can’t help but wonder whether the good work will continue next year…


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