Christmas brings the joys of celebration, the wonder and excitement on a child's face to see the brightly wrapped gifts under a tree, a gathering of family and friends. It is a time for many of spiritual celebration and hope for the future. As an environmentalist I can't imagine the look on a child's face as he or she runs to the tree to see gifts wrapped in brown paper or re-used newsprint. Or imagine a sweetheart given a gift wrapped in yesterday's lunch bag. In our zealous attempts at at saving the earth we seem to lose our practicality, it takes our humanity to remind us. All of you from Suzuki's eviction of Santa to those who think or advise re-giving as chic, please let's not give away the meaning of celebration. The real issues for us are still out there waiting for action.
It is with celebratory joy that I greet people when I say “Merry Christmas,” not with an intent to insult. Nor do I feel any guilt or shame for my belief or conscience. Sadly we are coerced by what unknown forces to hide even celebration publicly from our children. Our school buses not permitted to display any symbols of celebration by not allowing decorations. Who in fact would be offended? Our politicians no longer use the words to express their own beliefs. Who do they fear? What forces are out there to try and force a public sterility or uniformity. I do not accept them nor do I fear them. In my own home town of St. Catharines a nativity display at our city hall has been brutally attacked and vandalized for the second year. Who and for what purpose? Somehow it is hard to believe that a drunken or drugged individual with no motivation other than no self-control had done this, yet it is better to believe that than any alternative.
As humanity we are growing, stretching and hopefully maturing. We have conquered many diseases through science yet one we still struggle with and that is we still at times judge an individual by the pigment of his skin than by the individual himself. Maybe that guilt is forcing an over reaction and a stream of fear at simply being ourselves.
Today I wish you all a very Merry Christmas with no offence to my friends who celebrate in their own way. I will enjoy my six year old son ripping at the coloured paper covering his gifts without guilt that I betrayed Mother Earth or the work I do as an environmentalist. I will celebrate my family and the strength that they give me each and every day.
We come together at our feasting tables celebrating the gathering of family and friends. All races, religions and beliefs, each carrying their own traditions, their own dishes. In the end it all tastes like chicken! We are all the same below the covering of skin. We are part of a family, each and every one of us part of humanity. As waves on the oceans we do not wear labels of identification, or individuality. We blend and mix together. In the end we all taste like chicken.
To all a Very Merry and Joyous Christmas.