It is Christmas Time. Let’s Celebrate it
Merry Christmas from all of us at the Baraka Shea Butter family. Happy Holidays too, but, to be honest, I believe in calling holidays by their name and enjoying the celebration with respect, tolerance and inclusion. So, IT IS MERRY CHRISTMAS
On Muslim Holy Days I enjoy being greeted by Eid Mubarak and in turn greet people by the same. Same with Jewish, Hindu and other special days.
It has been my privilege and honour to have been able to share in special days with friends and families of other cultures and religions. It is amazing, and I believe we diminish our special days if we try to reduce them to some bland greeting that loses the essence of the celebration.
To me that is part of the joy and message of Christmas, a Christian celebration of joy and love. And tolerance. So, from me you will hear Merry Christmas, Happy Diwali, Hanukkah Sameach, or whatever else is appropriate (and that I know – I sure don’t pretend to know all of them). And, I hope I get to experience more of them.
I don’t mean to downplay political correctness at all. It is so important, and so needed in many areas that it hasn’t yet reached, or where it is being crowded out by the narrowness and self-interest that is appearing too often. But, that is another story (and, maybe, sometime, another blog)
What I think is more important, especially in the turbulent times we are in, is that we take to heart the teachings of love and joy and tolerance and respect and caring that are at the heart of so many special days celebrated by different people, cultures and faiths.
For me something about Christmas warms my heart. It makes me want to hug and hold close my family and friends and opens up a special part of my heart to want to hold and respect and embrace others.
It wakens a sense of giving, caring and sharing and an openness to understanding. Giving, caring and sharing with friends and family, but also with others less fortunate. As I have talked with friends and colleagues who celebrate other special days from different religions and cultures, I find that they too experience similar feelings.
My Christmas message, from all of us at Baraka, is simply to pray that we can all, no matter the culture, religion or skin colour, find a place in our hearts for these feelings of caring and sharing and giving and a desire to understand. A place where we can freely nurture them Not just at Christmas and other special days. But all the time. Isn’t that what the world needs more of?
Wouldn’t that be nice? For each of us to bring a little more giving, caring, sharing and understanding to the world. Isn’t that really the heart of Christmas?
I know it is the essence of the Christmas that I learned about growing up, learnt from my mom and dad, from my church and Sunday School, and saw modeled by others around me. It is the essence of Christmas that I want to pass on to my friends, family, colleagues and the world.
So MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.