December 25, 2007

The World Needs This Magic

In ancient times, as today, the seasons changed. For part of the year, the nights grew longer and longer until they froze. And then, just near the darkest time of the longest nights, people celebrated the promise of the return of the light. They had different symbols for the coming of the light. Evergreen represented rebirth — the promise that warmth would always return. People gathered with their loved ones, flung their voices against the darkness and shared a marvelous feast. Some called this celebration “Yule.” And, slowly at first, the light has always returned.

Another very old story tells of an anointed one (the “Christ”) who represented a new beginning, a chance for redemption. Some people who believed the anointed one had already come combined their story with the traditions of Yule and called it “Christmas.” This became a time to celebrate the fulfillment of a promise, like the return of the light, but embodied in a specific human person.

Many people all over the world celebrate this time of year. In my country, the United States of America, we have made “Christmas” an official national holiday, though nobody is required to celebrate it. It is a very inclusive holiday if you are open to the idea, no matter what your religious beliefs are. Perhaps you believe, through some supernatural force, an anointed one has already come. Perhaps you believe he has yet to come. Perhaps you believe in no such supernatural force at all. Perhaps you choose to celebrate something in your heart, some idea. It’s up to you, as all your choices are up to you.

And what a very wonderful idea it is, that at the darkest time there is hope that the light will return. And what a very powerful idea that the light can be embodied in a human person.

When things seem at their darkest, I choose to believe that you are that person. It is an important idea that the return of the light is not outside of you, but is within your heart and mind. And if you believe it, too, then you will act on it. Through your actions, change will happen slowly at first, but the light will always return. This is the magic the world needs.

Christmas Card

Merry Christmas to you, and may your heart be filled with joy and bereft of despair. And may your friends, family and everyone you meet share that joy.

Posted by James at December 25, 2007 12:43 AM
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Very nice sentiments, thank you.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Posted by: margaret at December 25, 2007 7:36 AM

Great drawing. Are you the artist?

Posted by: Kitten Herder at December 25, 2007 1:25 PM

Thanks, Margaret!

KH: Thanks also. Last year I sat down with the kids and we all drew Christmas greetings. This was what I came up with. This year we didn't get the chance, although M did draw some robots with me while I was doing the Turing T-shirt. I love the drawings the kids come up with. I miss my youth during which I spent half my time doodling and the other half reading.

Considering how much time I've spent drawing, my wok should be a lot better; as it is, drawing is a struggle when I'm trying to do something specific or realistic. But it's still always fun to get ideas onto paper in the form of goofy images.

I'll never do it for a living, so it's all fun and games.

Posted by: James at December 25, 2007 10:24 PM

James, that is probably the BEST words I've ever read about why so many people do (and should) celebrate.

No bullshit here - had you written them a week earlier, I would have read them to my crew at our holiday party.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Maggie, and your children. I hope we get to see each other more often this year.

Posted by: Bull at December 27, 2007 10:29 PM

And them's probably not my best grammars either...

Posted by: Bull at December 27, 2007 10:32 PM

Nicely put. I wish I had those words during my trip to Colorado. I may have to revive the private blog to tell of the trip. Here's a taste "Jesus is our REAL family..."

Posted by: briwei at December 31, 2007 3:10 PM

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