This may be a radical idea, especially coming out just two days after December 25. In fact, I’ll bet it brings up considerable resistance within the psyche of anyone who reads this. Change usually does.
First, let me say that having everyone celebrate the same holidays on the same days or schedules each year is an ideal way to bring structure to society. It serves a purpose and keeps things orderly. It allows American companies to provide employees days off through the designation of specific holiday dates each year. Everyone focuses on the same celebration at the same time. In that acknowledgment there is unity and oneness – a nice feeling to have with your neighbor or relative.
I think this form of order works quite well for recognizing political or societal holidays. I have a different opinion in regard to the rigidity of spiritually-based celebrations. For example, I propose to recognize the Spirit of Christmas in April or August. No more December 25. In fact, we could move this spiritual holiday to a different month each year, just to be sure folks are paying attention to the Spirit of the Season. Why you ask? Why make such a drastic suggestion?
Think about it. From Halloween to New Year’s Day it’s just one party or get-together after another. People get worn out from all that traveling and partying and gift buying in a short two-month span. Why not spread out the celebrations a bit? We could easily move Thanksgiving and Christmas to other times of the year…to those months when there’s not a lot going on in the way of connecting with one another.
Christmas in August would be ideal! There’d be less weather-related issues for traveling (no snow). You could combine buying the new academic year’s school clothes as Christmas presents (practical and money-saving). There’d be a lot more contemplation time in December to prepare all those resolutions due by January 1st. You wouldn’t have two major, end-of-year holiday celebrations just eight days apart (loss of employee productivity with all that time off). And with all the thought and attention placed on getting just the right Christmas gift and being with those you care about, you would be able to connect with them in the middle of the year (plus end-of-year holidays) and distribute the love more evenly throughout the months rather than focus on the last 65 days of the calendar.
This year our family purposely down-sized the commercial expectations that have built up over the years. Through that effort, we found we had a lot less stress about the whole Christmas event, we were freer to give from the heart and not the wallet, and we’ve started seeing or calling each other without the Christmas impetus. We’re talking to each other about life and having fun. We don’t need to have a designated date to make plans to visit. We can choose our own special days to connect. And that’s a very spiritual thing to do.
We recognize the Love more easily – no tree decorations in the way, no fancy meals to cook, no special trips to arrange – unless we choose to. We decide…when to call up and say “hello” or “I was thinking about you.” We decide…if it’s a day to spend with family or friends or both. We decide…to bring that sharing and giving consciousness to each other or to strangers along the way…and we can do it EVERY day. We express our loving God/Christ-nature EVERY day. And isn’t that the message we should be sharing?
There you have it. My slightly radical idea to have our own designated and personal Christmas day. If we celebrate the Spirit of Christmas on a regular basis, would we really miss doing it in December? What a fun surprise this will be for my family next year. I really can’t wait for Christmas!