There have been questions as to exactly what is the Christmas spirit - what is it that people of all religions mean when they think of Christmas. It is true that a number of people look upon Christmas as the birth of Jesus Christ, the messiah of the Christian faith.

Yet, the Christmas Spirit transcends a single religion. A co-worker of mine told of his girlfriend (Jewish) asking him (atheist) if they were going to get a Christmas tree. They did.

So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said,
Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses.

(Dar Williams, from The Christians and the Pagans)

The Bible itself gives a clue as to what it is that people feel when there is talk of what the Christmas Spirit is: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14). It is peace on earth - goodwill to men. The word by word analysis of this passage is quite intresting and another node elsewhere. However, it is safe to say that the latter part of this passage is indeed what people mean when they say "Merry Christmas".

Throughout the world, cease fires are held over Christmas season - not just countries with Christians. These cease fires also hold for people who are of all religions. There is a feeling of harmony at this time.

Remember, when a person says "Merry Christmas" to you, they are not necessarily wishing you a happy celebration of the birth of Christ - but rather that you too feel the goodwill that permeates the world at this time, that you too feel at peace with yourself, your family and those all across the world.

Sit back and listen to some music that shares this feeling, and see if you too can feel and understand that Christmas is not just one religions celebration of the birth of their messiah, but rather a celebration of peace and good will for the entire world - a celebration of family. Listen to the Christmas music that has strong pagan influence. Sit before a yule log and enjoy a glass of mulled wine.

Merry Christmas to you. May the winter solstice fill your heart with a warmth that cannot be extinguished. May you too feel the peace on earth, and good will towards all people as you spend these days with your family and celebrate its togetherness in a way that no other holiday can do. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


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