The meaning of Christmas

Lenny Scovel

Why Christmas? Especially to one who doubts? Are you not being hypocritical? Unitarian Universalists, with their penchant for secular humanism are fond of arguing the validity of Christmas: Is it a Christian holiday? A pagan holiday? A secular holiday? Even outside my UU circles there is much apathy about Christmas—"It's just another day" I've heard quoted by many. I know all this…and I don't care! I love Christmas, always have and always will. It fills me with nostalgia and generosity and goodwill. And as far as the "meaning of Christmas" is concerned, as a Unitarian Universalist, I believe it is part of our spiritual maturation to search for and assign meaning to all the days of our lives. In this, Christmas is the high-water mark of the year—a time when the world slows, and considers our relationships with each other. Isn't that in itself enough to celebrate? Worthy of decorations, lights and music? The gifts we give each other at this time of year are more than just demonstrations of our generosity—they are symbols of the gifts we are capable of giving on all the other days of our lives. Gifts of love, compassion, industry, advocacy…the gifts of our common humanity. These were the values of Jesus—the true Christian values. And if we, as a Unitarian Universalists, need to reconcile the language of Jesus as the Savior in celebrating Christmas, can we not acknowledge that through his ministry of compassion, he was in fact our savior, by showing us the way to save ourselves?