Monday, November 10, 2008

Better Days

I hate going to the gas station and hearing "Little Saint Nick", shopping and seeing the  gia-normous Christmas displays in Target, Home Depot, Shaws, etc.  I hate how early Christmas seems to come, and how quickly it goes once it gets here.  The 26th comes and suddenly its over.  What-ever happened to the 12 days of Christmas?

Regardless, as much as I dispise all of the pre-celebration its impossible to ignore that the season is upon us whether it is in the stores, in the requests of "what would you like for Christmas", or just in the continual radio Christmas music - I still have to admit that I'm a little excited about the days that lay ahead.

However, like Anna who recently wrote about advent (, I also am more excited about the Christmas season than Christmas itself.  Every year I love the random, sporadic moments of love that inevitably surround Christmas.  As unfortunate as it is they are no longer what Chrismas is seen as, but I still claim that if you look hard enough they are still there.

Whether it is in the many charities who collect and donate food, or the child who dumps his left over pennies into the salvation army jar, or in a moment of forgiveness between individuals - there seem to still be.  I am not going to urge you to remember the true meaning of Christmas, but rather, to stop when you see one of these moments this year and just recognize that a small miracle just happened.  

Because any time that we put aside our own selfish thoughts, feelings, and ideas a small miracle happens.  (While some may argue for and against a "true" altruistic moment occuring, such a debate is way too in depth for purposes of this single blog entry and really ends up as an unsolvable argument that does not change the fact that something special happened in a culture where selfishness is rewarded and often looked highly upon even in a time of Christmas.) 

Additionally, in this Christmas season, I think we need to broaden our idea of giving.  We need to recognize that working towards positive change on any level: local, regional, national, international, or globally on any issue: environment, poverty, social injustice, health care, education, clean water, hunger, etc. is really a step in the right direction and is really a small miracle in action.  Small miracles add up.  Change adds up.  No matter what side of the issue you're on in terms of how to make the necessary change - work towards it and in the meanwhile engage in active, helpful, honest conversation about how to make this world a better place.

Above all, I think in this Christmas season, the greatest thing we really can do on earth is try to love one another.  As my favorite "Christmas" song says:

I wish everyone was loved tonight
And to somehow stop this endless fight
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

Better days.  Sure they won't be perfect, and no there wont be snow in Africa this Christmas time (MEGHAN!!!)... but at the very least maybe they will have life, faith, trust, and peace.  Maybe this year can provide better days, and next year better days than this, and so on and so forth.  If each day is a better day due to our work on this planet, perhaps eventually we can look at this world again and say it is "very Good".

And you ask me what I want this year
And I try to make this kind and clear
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days

I know it's hard - how many of us can actually say when asked what we want that it contains nothing more than a chance for better days?  No, I'm not saying we all need to cut presents out of our lives for Christmas (but maybe I should... ) but what I am saying is that this Christmas, besides just giving boxes wrapped with string and paper, give something more.  Give trust, peace, and if possible, love.  


Anna said...

i like you. also, i feel really cool that you put a link to my blog in this post. also, i really like that Goo Goo Dolls song. also, I saw Eric Linquist at Messiah today and I wanted you to be there too.

Lowie said...

I wanted to be there too. Maybe I will see you at X-mas time if I drop down that way.

Anonymous said...

I always get confused between trying to celebrate Christmas year 'round and having Christmas be special because it is exclusive to one time of year.

Wal-Mart uses the music as marketing psychology to make money.

I have some Christmas tunes that hopefully people can listen to all year long. Come by my blg.


Tina Beth said...

i love your thought-provoking posts... and i think of you every time i see a beautiful bird or lizard whose species i can't even begin to guess.
and... please don't hope for snow in africa for christmas, at least not this section of christmas. our current "winter" which has lows probably somewhere around 65-70 degrees farenheit (i'm guessing since i don't actually have a thermometer) feels plenty cool enough ;)