Christmas is a time when we open our hearts to others in our midst, especially the less fortunate- including those who have no homes, who struggle with personal demons and suffer terribly in the cold.
It is a time when we forgive others for their wrongs to us.
It is a time when we wish our neighbors and associates, of every faith, good fortune and happiness, whether by saying " Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays"!
It is a time when we take special pleasure in helping a child smile- especially a child who has struggled with poverty, illness or trouble at home.
It is a time when we treasure family members and honored traditions passed down for generations, including the lovely old songs we sing together.
It is a time when we pause in the rat race to savor our fleeting moments with those we love.
It is a time we reflect on fleeting those moments really are- when we feel our eyes brim up, remembering those we can never stop missing, who will not share holidays with us again, at least not physically.
Our culture seems increasingly crude at times, our sense of self righteousness so enormous that we feel entitled to cruelty insult, or impugn the integrity of, anyone who disagrees with us, especially in the political realm. The spirit of Christmas argues against our demonizing each other, and for trying to disagree in fair-minded manner that preserves a mutual respect.
It is a spirit worth carrying beyond December 25.