Wednesday, December 21, 2011


It’s Hanukkah. The Festival of Light.  Eight days of gifts. 

It’s Christmas too. More lights and presents. 

It’s also the Holidays/Christmas for Non-Seculars, Agnostics and Atheists too without the God or Jesus references. Think back in history. It was originally a Roman Pagan Holiday when those in Rome did as the Romans did and strung pine and berries here and there and made merry- or Bruce, depending on who was available and willing. When the Christians were trying to have folks grab onto the idea of Christianity, they figured if they stuck Christmas on a holiday that was already on the Roman Calendar, they could at least ride on a few Roman coattails- or Togas, expecting a few lambs to drift over to the new church by osmosis. 

This year, it’s also Christmas for “Progressive Christians”.  Progressive Christians are a growing number of people who have also gone past the Jesus and God thing and look for Peace and Love Forevermore- without God, Jesus or someone from the pulpit on a Sunday morning telling them this is good, this is bad and this is how you must find redemption. 

For me personally, I call it and celebrate Christmas.
The Holidays. Yuletide. The Festive Season.
Christmas means Santa Claus.
Christmas means Charles Dickens’- A Christmas Carol.
Now there’s one of the finest stories and lessons anyone could get from a book.
Any book.
Then there’s that beautiful little story about a family forced to pay heavy taxes on a meagre little salary and trek miles and miles to pay the piper- or at least the Romans. We all can relate to that as Canadians. Our tax burden is heavy. Relating to Santa Claus is easy and St. Nick doesn’t expect us to bow down and pray to him. He just says- Be Nice. Be good to one another….and clean your room!

So, just where do I stand in the above list?
Well, I admire Santa Claus and his message of “love” but his “naughty” list is a bit much- isn’t it? Once upon a time, I considered myself “non-secular”.
Agnostic at best.
It was easy to say- “I’m an Agnostic.”
It’s a bigger decision to say- “I am an Atheist!” 

Yes boys and girls, I have now firmly crossed over to the Atheist side.
I feel good about that and I am not alone. I am amazed at the number of people I know who think the way I do. It comes easily too. Many people who feel this way have never picked up a book on the subject or read a Theological Essay. Last week, I read that 25% on Ontarians are Atheist or lean towards Atheism.
Wow! That’s a bunch of folks. 

Atheists are known for saying things like- 

You know, God doesn’t exist, so relax and enjoy your life.
You know it’s a myth, so this season- think Reason. 

Picking up a verse from our Jewish Friends and Hanukkah, they say this time of year is a Festival of Love, closeness, happiness, success, health, peace and joy in your world and always. 

I mean ~ahem~. 

Well said and all without a speck of “Jesusism”. Actually, there’s no God in those words either. As Humans on this planet earth we can all aspire to every one of those things- without the help of a Grand Deity placing fear in our hearts for what happens when we all lay our heads down for a long, winter’s nap…in this case I am referring to “death” not the Clement Moore Poem.

Christians live their entire lives worrying about being dead.
What is going to happen to me when the lights go out?
A new beginning that’s what happens.
A beautiful beginning. 

Picture this scenario after you pass on. You will feel a floating sensation and feel and see a bright welcoming light. You move forward. Suddenly an old friend or family member- let’s call him “Moe”, greets you with an outstretched hand and a warm smile. Maybe even a song. You grab his hand and shake it firmly as he looks you straight in the eyes and says to you- 

“Hey Welcome! Good Gosh! You spent your entire life worrying about what death is like didn’t you- and here it is- nothing to worry about. You’ll see. Oh- don’t worry about all that worrying”- they’ll say to you.

“All of us here worried a major part of our lives away too. Now, we all wish we had of just enjoyed life and had of been good to people and smiled and laughed little more.” 

That’s how simple it will be.
At least that is what I have been shown and told from those who have passed on.
It was unsettling to hear this and see fleeting images of the next plane- at first. Now It feels quite natural when I “hear” from someone who has crossed over. Oh, they’re not long conversations, just fleeting moments and good vibes. 

Actually, that’s what this whole season is about.
Moments and Good vibes.
Laughter. Love. Togetherness.

Now, a final word about this togetherness thing.
It’s not all it’s meant to be.
It’s like reaching for a star.
We wax poetic about the perfect Family Holiday Celebration.
I suspect few experience it.
I certainly don’t from my family.
Once, I suppose I did but today the best thing to do is take some time and reflect on what has been and what is to be.
Simply do what makes you feel happy and content.
Do what makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
If you reach the “warm and fuzzy” plateau this Holiday Season, you have attained something that many of us don’t.
We all strive for it but “life” can just get in the way- religion too. 

So, this Christmas Season, smile at a stranger. Hug someone. Kiss your dog. Shake hands with the cashier at the dollar store and wish them the best of the Christmas Season. Just don’t worry about the final journey. 

Now, that’s what Christmas should be!