There is nothing that embodies this holiday for me better than finally having the cards sent out, and then opening the mailbox and finding cards from family and friends. Sometimes, there are pictures, sometimes notes, sometimes just a signature. Sometimes, this is our one and only contact point of the year. But this tradition, this yearly ritual of reaching out and saying 'Hi, I know you and I think enough of you to keep your name in my address book' this reconnecting; has become, for me, the heart of this jolly old season. Not the the angels, the mangers, and wise men.
There are some in my family that would call that blasphemy. I come from a long line of Southern Baptists who can be described with words like missionary, evangelical, and prayerful. They would say that Jesus is the Reason for the Season. Jesus, as they are not shy about saying, is their reason for everything. Well, that's OK. Over the years, I think we've learned to accept each other's beliefs - to agree to disagree as it were. I've toned down my need to battle their views, and they've learned not to try to sell me theirs, and most importantly, that I'm not an evil horned devil.
I have my own relationship and ideas of God and religion. Much like my extended family includes divorces, remarriages, step children, and half siblings, in-laws and outlaws; my spirituality includes a 'taped together' God. A little pagan, a little Buddhist, some Jewish, some historical Christianity and a whole lot of community caring - just not much Jesus. I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas in the spirit of the season and in the spirit of reconnecting. I believe in sharing and smiling and giving and staying in touch with others - Christmas season or not.