Christmas time is here

To all those who celebrate Christmas, I sincerely wish you joy on your holiday. My own festivals and holy seasons (Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr, Hajj-time, Eid-ul-adha) are the best, most precious times, and I think you may look at Christmas similarly.

However, I want to understand the phenomenon of Christmas better, and I have a lot of questions. Why do so many non-religious people celebrate Christmas? What does the birth of Christ mean to people? Do you feel spiritual joy, and would you feel that joy no matter how it was you were celebrating? Why do you shop during Christmas time? How do you find the quietness required for holiday reflection when even I as a non-celebrator can’t escape the noise of this season? How do you know Christmas time is special?

For my own holidays, I find specialness no matter how we celebrate. I know the times are special because they are all prescribed as holy. I believe the Quran and the Prophet Muhammad, and that leaves no question in my mind about the holiness of my holidays. The spiritual aspects of these holidays are prayers, repentance, and spiritual renewal. Everything else that happens helps to share the enjoyment of our blessings with our family, friends and communities.

I’ve heard several reports on NPR lately about A Charlie Brown Christmas and its signature song, “Christmastime.” It’s an adorable, beautiful cartoon, which I enjoyed watching. But in the end, I’m not sure if it provides any answers about the meaning of Christmas, other than this: Every person and community requires a time for spiritual renewal. And even though Coco Cola commissioned A Charlie Brown Christmas, Christmas is an opportunity for people to find hope in their own goodness and start once more to try to become better people. So perhaps, despite the commercialism, Christmas does help people to transcend their material existence and find meaning in life beyond just petty fulfillments?

One Response

  1. Because I’m a nice person, and because its holiday season for three religions, I’m leaving you a comment. :p

    NYTimes has a most e-mailed story called Jewish in a Winter Wonderland. (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/24/fashion/24PotteryBarn.html?em&ex=1167282000&en=59c1c23f2d85a21b&ei=5087)

    Read it because it’s a little funny, and it seems to be a little about what you were rambling on about here. It has a touch of the i’m-a-minority-boo-hoo, but only a touch.

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