Happy Christmas


Happy Baby Boomer Christmas. Tis the season to be, to be...What is it we should be feeling this holiday season?


I’d go with jolly, but it just doesn’t seem to fit. We got two wars going on, a tanked economy, the most unemployment since the great depression, a health-care system that fewer and fewer can access, less freedom than we started with eight years ago, and we’re about to jail another governor here in Illinois. In the midst of all of this, jolly just doesn’t feel right.


Thankful is pretty used up, what with Thanksgiving and all. We all have a lot to be thankful for, although this year we may have to dig down a bit deeper to find it. I used up most of my thankfulness to get through Thanksgiving. I ain’t got much left.


Merry has always gone along with Christmas, as has Mary. Why, if it was not for Mary, immaculate conception or otherwise, we wouldn’t have a Christmas. As for being Merry this Christmas, it pretty much goes along the same line as trying to be jolly. It’s a tough holiday season, about to get tougher with jacked-up heating bills. Ho, Ho, Holy cow!


Peace goes along with Christmas. Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men. Dang, wouldn’t you know it. We are involved in at least two wars, and there are approximately another 100 going on around the world. We never take Peace very seriously. There should be a Department of Peace. Preachers around the world this Christmas will sing the praises of Peace as though it were a commodity to be bought at the department store. Nary a one of them will demand it out of their congregation, or forfeit their seat.


Happy is a whole different matter. We don’t normally use Happy with Christmas, although it doesn’t fit too badly: Happy Christmas. I do like the word Happy. I always thought Happy was what life is about. Not the tee-hee variety, but the deep down contentment of knowing you are doing your best to live a life based on your faith, that you have let the Spirit of Christmas enter your heart and direct your everyday actions. I don’t know exactly what would happen if that were to occur, but I have a notion. I don’t think you would ever be satisfied if there was a hungry child among us, if families have to live on the street, if an old person you know spends Christmas alone and cold, if you were certain there were likely to be no presents under your neighbors tree this year because of unemployment. What should we say to a wife or parents who have sent their husband or son or daughter off to war? Or a couple who have lost a child through the year? Have a Merry Christmas? Maybe next year. This Christmas season we should not settle for any of these things. That first Christmas things were not going real well for Joseph and Mary. Mary was forced to give birth in a stinky stable. It was likely cold, and jolly, or being merry, was probably far from her mind. But they could have been happy. Not for their lot in life, or the fine furnishings or big screen TV they had in that stable, but happy for the simple fact that they had a little baby boy that Herod couldn’t get his hands on. The rest of us should be happy for what that baby boy showed us is possible with faith, hope, and courage. So in spite of your lot in life, in spite of the fact that you may not be having the most joyful, or merriest, or brightest Christmas, I hope you can be happy in spite of it all. Because it is being happy that we should all be looking for and working toward. And it is compassion and giving that will get us there.

Happy Christmas.