Christmas, it’s near.

I hear the grumblings. Seems that people are not happy to have the Holiday season’s big day overshadowing the smaller holidays. The marketing machine and retail outlets roll out Christmas right around the same time that Halloween decorations start to appear. People put themselves in debt to buy gifts for their people. And so many detest the appearance of the music. I get it. No one likes to be force-fed something.

Me? I used to be in the ever-growing Christmas malcontent crowd. Greed, materialism, and anxiety, seemed to be the hallmarks of Christmas. As a younger man, I hated to see the lights, and hear the music. In this perverse form, the Christmas I saw was no longer the Christmas of my youth. One that offered hope, love and a spirit of generosity. It was crass, vulgar and obese in its twisted spirit. I ranted and railed against the sick, jaundiced holiday.

Problem being, I, in focusing on the sickness of the world swimming inside the day, missed how my rancor only fed the pustulous. My attitude about Christmas ignored my own choice to celebrate the things I loved about it as a child. Misgivings about the image presented by the coarse world kept me from enjoying and engaging in something very unique.

A shift began in me, realizing that as my own life, Christmas was as I made it. I chose to eschew the trappings of a secular holiday of greed. Replacing the covetousness with benevolence I saw my attitudes change. It became about sharing the love I felt with others, kindness, compassion and celebrating the spirit of love and compassion. In short, I saw it as the one time of the year, that as an undercurrent, the ideas of peace on earth and goodwill to all still ran strong. Christmas is a river of the hope of what humanity can strive toward, shedding self-interest and looking to help one another.

At heart, I’m an idealist, which in my weaker moments, makes me a misanthropic cynic. But Christmas, living in my heart, makes the scales fall from my eyes and see. We are here to overcome our fears, to strive to overcome our baser instincts. Our purpose is to be better than a human beast, but a human being. Christmas is about that.

Be Kind. Be Compassionate. Be Loving. Be More Tomorrow Than You Are Today. Don’t let the world twisting this season into a debaucherous consumer feeding frenzy dissuade you from participating in being the best human being.

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