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Christmas - celebrating kindness, love and peace

Oakville News N.M.
Oakville News N.M.

For the first time since Covid-19 began playing havoc with our plans, people are happily looking forward to rejoining family and friends. The Dec. 25th date for the mass to celebrate Christ's birth (Christmas) coincides with earlier pagan celebrations of the rising of the sun and the winter solstice. It is thought that Church leaders felt bringing the two together would help Christianity supplant pagan beliefs. Later, Christian writers made the connection between the rebirth of the sun and the birth of the Son. 

Today, many people of many traditions observe the Christian holiday with gatherings and gift giving. Jesus's birth, even for those who do not recognize him as the Son of God, embodies the universal desire for a world of tolerance, kindness, forgiveness and peace, the values Jesus's life epitomized. In these times, we need these values more than ever. Gift-giving is meant to symbolize this generous, selfless approach to life. The Christmas church services and the beautiful music we associate with the season, even the modern songs without religious content, all focus on this spirit of giving, of caring for others, of kindness, love and tolerance.

The separations which the precautions against Covid-19 have necessitated have made many of us out of is clear that there is often more focus on what separates us than on the desire for inclusion and love of humankind that is at the centre of this widely practised and observed tradition.

In the larger world, peace and even civility seem more precarious than in a very long time. As we come back together after long absences from each other, we must all endeavour to draw on this long-held hopeful time of peace and find in ourselves the reservoirs of kindness that lead to understanding, acceptance of difference, inclusion and love (including when your crazy uncle goes off on an eggnog-fuelled rant). As we go about our errands, observing the smiles on the faces of others, it is clear the happy Christmas spirit is alive and well. Let it rekindle in all of us hope and optimism.

To spend time with our families, Oakville News will not publish any stories on Christmas Day.

Peace be with you all.