Sunday, December 17, 2006

Chritsmas Spirit

Today's NYT News of the Week in Review led (well, it was a front-page story) with an article entitled "An Atheist Can Believe in Christmas," featuring the comments of prominent unbelievers like Sam Harris, author of Letter to a Christian Nation and Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion) admitting that, at least in some ways, they commemorate Christmas.

Nu? What's not to like about Christmas?

As a minimally practicing but proud Jew, I'm happy to say that I love Christmas. Indeed, what bothered me about the article was that the atheists quoted were uniformly defensive if not downright Grinch-like in their comments about the festival.

Now, when I say that I love Christmas, I really mean that I love the Christmas season. Not believing in the theology of the occasion, I find the day itself something of an anti-climax. But the spirit of Christmas, the spirit of love, generosity, peace and family (indeed, family in the largest sense) is not only what I take to be the true Christian spirit, but the spirit that should be central to all religions, indeed, to all people.

Next Sunday night, as I do every year, I'll put Miracle on 34th Street (the original, 1947, black-and-white version, of course) on my DVD player and once again believe in Santa Claus, and in the holiday for which he stands.

Merry Christmas to all!

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