Literally and figuratively. Chaleur — why did I forget all about the ends to be woven in? It happens, I guess, forgetfulness. Just like every year I forget not to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas.
At the opening, “I know no one likes me. Why do I need a Christmas season to remind me?” Seriously, that gets me every time. So sad.
And then, the closing, “Can’t anyone tell me the true meaning of Christmas?” And lisping Linus (<–he’s my favorite, by the way) tells him. And, that gets me, too. I don’t know how dyed-in-the-wool Christians think about this stuff, but for me, I look at this time of year–and, maybe especially this year– as giving me the gift of focusing my thoughts on what it means to be kind, to be grateful and to be explicitly about making peace on earth. It’s the time when I am reminded that I need to get down and dirty with the work of loving my neighbor, no matter who that neighbor is if I want to make peace real. If you love guns, of course, I love you… I may think you’re wrong, but as long as your love of guns doesn’t mean you love to shoot them at people, we can work it out. If you love people who are your same gender, of course, I love you, and I hope with all my heart the people you’re loving are loving you right back and you are happy. I don’t care a whit about whom you love, just that you are loved. If you love to hate people who look like me — who are brown and female, or who are any color/gender that’s not yours, of course, I love you … but, I also ain’t about to hang out with you. Instead, I’ll love you by being as empathetic as I can towards you, because you’re missing out on the gifts that a host of people have to bring to your life. I’m going to try to love you so much that you see that.
I totally 100% believe in God, but the God I believe in doesn’t judge or ask me to do so, and doesn’t ask that I foist that belief on everyone around me, but rather that I live in a way that reflects the only unwavering tenet I hold about God, that God is love. Love, I can do. (Okay, judging? I’ll be honest. I do it, too, but it’s usually about the stuff that doesn’t matter — like, “why is she wearing that?”; Or, “why is he with her?”; Or, “why won’t he shut up and let this meeting get over?”. Petty, but I own that and know it is something I need to address … perhaps I’ll work on that in the New Year.)
People who know more about religion than me often speak of the “Angry God” of the Old Testament and the “Loving God” of the New. In my mind, God is simply a coaching and encouraging God — rooting for us to say, “Wow, look at the fact that there’s grass, and trees and spring, summer, winter and fall! And, don’t forget puppies, bitches! Puppies are awesome! Also, cheese!”; to get on with living; and, to make some friends! The world is a remarkably beautiful place, and people who spend their time making things so that others don’t see that beauty are an affront to the miracle that we’re all here together. We all busted out of some woman’s uterus (Thanks, Mom! C-sections are okay, too!) to land here on earth and there isn’t any difference in the who we are, just the what we have and what we do with it.
My God reminds me that the world is a glorious and beautiful place, encourages me to get out in it, and gives me the joyous promise that it’s true we can have “on earth, peace and good will towards men.” (Except it should be men and women!) Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays, Joyeux Noel. Big love, whether or not there’s God in it, just big love!