Happy Christmas!

This is the week of the Christmas Party, at least for the adults of the household. We got together with work friends and we will get together with Sunday School friends. There has been good food, laughter, sharing, and good times. I know that will continue. It's not like any of us go out of our way to be peaceful to one another at these parties, but we are. There are no huge debates or arguments, but maybe we all know that is simply not the time for them. So, I wonder... is there a time?

It seems this season brings out the debates quite well. You can't really avoid at least hearing about the issues that circle around Christmas. Each side of the argument feels they are truly speaking the truth, and I'll be honest in saying that most debates I see or hear have pros and cons on both sides. What I do not understand is why people get so poisonous about them. Do we really have the desire to put people in their place right now? I would beg to say we don't, but it's hard not to step up on that soap box when you see it sitting in front of you so prettily.

I have been one to step on a soap box in my time, and I can't say I wont do it again. I get blinded by the "rightness" of my view, and I want others to agree with me. But I am learning, I hope. I think I am not quite as quick to start arguing with someone in heated debate over something... anything. However, I do understand the draw and pull that brings us to that spot. Heck, I guess that's what I'm doing right here a little bit as well.

I do not care if you say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas. It does not bother me if Santa visits your children Christmas Eve. I'm okay if you don't feel a Christmas Tree really helps you celebrate the season. And I get that you want to remember the reason for the season as well. I think it's cool if your advent season is full of scripture or acts of kindness, but I know the kids will love the chocolates or tiny presents that come with another's. I know your family loves it when you read the Nativity story Christmas eve, and for some it's the Night Before Christmas poem that brings back their own childhood.

We all lay stake to the fact that we are unique and individual, and yet we all insist that how we do it is the right way. I think it's because another's choice being different than ours makes us feel that we have done something wrong. So we step up to the box, and defend ourselves, and maybe we throw a few barbs the other direction as well. Ironic, isn't it?

I have known people who don't celebrate, who put up lights on the roof, who watch the Norad website for Santa, and who only give three gifts to their children. We are all trying to live our lives as God calls us to, and these differences show that God speaks to us differently. We don't have to argue about it or judge one another for it. Let's simply all pretend we are at one great big Christmas party, or Holiday party if you prefer, and try to get along a little better. Maybe this simply shouldn't be the season of debate and argument. But then I still don't think there is any good time for that.

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