The Holiday Grinch is incensed that White House cards do not refer to Christmas. While the Grinch makes political hay the rest of us celebrate the holiday spirit that Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice and Christmas invite us into. It is a choice about whether to define life by a spirit of steadfast exclusion or discovering our oneness.
Sarah Palin has sharpened her holiday knives according to the LA Times, with a full attack on Fox News about the “odd” nature of this year’s White House card. She is incensed that the card does not refer to the Christmas values of “family, faith and freedom.” The unwed teenage girl who gave birth in a roadside feeding trough to the son named Jesus does not reflect the values that Palin has in mind.
The furor has been joined with political expressions of horror that this year’s card has “no Christmas” in it according to Business Insider. Their gallery of sixteen different White House holiday cards shows that the “no Christmas” message has been consistent.
This is a life-draining energy storm in a tea cup! The holiday celebrations invite a life-giving energy.
The origins of Hanukkah lie in the miracle believed to have happened with scarce oil burning in the candles for eight days instead of one. It is a holiday about the scattering of the profusion of light. Whatever your tradition Hanukkah is an invitation to be an active participant in the spirit spreading of luminous light pointing to a power greater than ourselves.
In December Solstice celebrations the shifting of the earth’s axial tilt in relation to the Sun is cause for celebration. The beginning of more light filled days or the dawning of shorter days has been celebrated in cultures in the northern and southern hemispheres. The Solstice celebrations are about the human and spiritual cycles of death, birth and rebirth. They are a reminder of our interconnection with the Universe.
Christmas may be a specifically Christian celebration but it is also freely claimed by those rooted in other traditions or none at all. The vulnerability of a child born out of wedlock in precarious circumstances is a story that invites us in with our vulnerabilities. Beyond the theologies of God taking on human form Christmas is a reminder for many of the Holy found in each person. In taking stock of love made manifest in an infant there is cause for celebration and remembering our oneness with the rest of the human family.
Gifts, festivities, music and rituals reflect the celebratory time of the holidays. It’s not surprising that the holidays scatter the light of goodwill no matter how glum things might be. Or is it that the holidays invite us to remember that delight in one another, in hope and in our shared human story is still possible?
The Grinch’s may promote exclusivist views and try to spread divisiveness. But the choice of living life with delight in our oneness brings a life-giving energy to life beyond the holidays.
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