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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Why Would a Buddhist Celebrate Christmas?

Every once in a while, I get asked the question:
Why, as a Buddhist, do I celebrate Christmas?
Why do I deck the halls and wrap presents?
Why do I plan feasts and gathering?
Why do I, in fact, have not just one Nativity, but a surviving collection?
 
Why indeed?

Now, you know it's not my usual thing to get preachy over here. I'd rather sledge out a wall or hot glue the cats together. I keep religion and politics on the down low. But I did get a couple of emails, and my mother even asked, so I figured a little seriousness wouldn't be too out of place. If I'm wrong, stop reading now. I don't want anyone unjoining because I got all philosophical.
This joyous holiday means more to me than a single religion's observation of a miracle.
Most scholars agree that Jesus was actually born in the Spring, 
and that moving the holiday to Winter Solstice was a clever way of being allowed to celebrate during a time of Roman and Pagan feasts.
Although the truth of the move was to avoid persecution, I'd like to think it can mean something else.
I'd like to think we can all believe as we wish and worship God in our own ways, side by side, with the understanding that in many, many ways, there are fewer differences than we think.
I love the symbols of Christmas, the meaning behind it, and the way it gathers people, makes them a little nicer in traffic, a little more generous to those in need, a little more patient with others.
Even those who hold Christmas on a purely secular level recognize the magic and reach out to comfort those with less. It's in our nature to care. December just reminds us of that fact.

I like it when Hanukkah is a little later in the month, because then to me it does feel like we're all making merry together. Although when it's earlier, it just starts the fun and goodies sooner!
Whether you're visiting Farrah in Pakistan and wishing you could make flowers behave like that, Mel in Canada and planning to steal her Cricut, watching Beth in Tampa trying to control her broom, or sliding down to Miami hoping you can talk some color sense into me, it's obvious we all want the same things.
Family.
Home.
Comfort.
Love.
Happiness.
We aren't so different at all.
Merry Christmas, my bloggy friends. Here's to a season of understanding, acceptance, and peace.
We are all of one heart.

20 comments:

Kara Kelsey said...

Merry Christmas! I just found your blog and I love the name and the header logo made me smile remembering my own four year "Life in Rehab" when my husband and I renovated a 16 room house all by ourselves. It's was a amazing life changing experience!

Happy New Year!

Beth@Wiccan Make Some Too said...

Wickedly Awesome post Sunny! May the Powers That Be smile down on you & yours this Holiday Season. Blessed Be my Buddhist friend.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this post. I dig your philosophy too. Keep posting, it can be the highlight of a gloomy Chicago winter day.

Michelle L. said...

I could not agree more, all religions have truth and beauty. Then among all the deep thoughts you threw in "nicer in traffic." Hee. I got my Sunny laugh for the day.

mousee23 said...

And why not?If I was in China I wouls celebrate new years later than here.If I was any where else I would celebrate the holidays they hold dear just because celebrating brings us together.Be philly sophie and just keep being you.

MJ said...

FANTASTIC POST! It's great that some people have sense enough to just accept others :) Merry Christmas!!

Sawdust and Paperscraps said...

Too true! Too true! Happy Holidays!

kasthurirajam said...

beautiful

http://kasthuriscreations.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-wreath.html

Kim K. said...

Beautiful post. I hope your day was full of peace, love and great family memories. Can't wait to see what's in store in 2011.

Vagabond Carnival said...

Fabulous sentiment and well put!

Hope you had a lovely holiday.

~M

Carrie said...

Hallelujah, sister! I was raised Unitarian and we celebrated all religions and quite a few different holidays. Our Jewish neighbors joined us for Christmas Eve and we joined them for a night of Hanukkah... it was wonderful. It's all about the spirit and the magic of the season. On that note, Merry Holidays to you, friend!

Deb said...

I think that captures the spirit of the season better than anything I've seen so far. It's about people, family, home and love, which is something you embody and share with all of us. Happy Holidays!!

Jane @ The Borrowed Abode said...

I love how you think! We're pretty much on the same page. I hopped into blogland today JUST to find your Christmas post :)

Sharon said...

Merry Christmas Sunny! I hope it was full of joy!

Heather said...

I agree! Hope you are having a wonderful and joyful holiday!

ourlifeinaclick.blogspot.com said...

Very well put Sunny!!! Hope you are enjoying it all!!!

allison @ itstoilegood.blogspot.com said...

Amen lady!

suicide_blond said...

love love love this... xoxo

Nikki ~ I will follow U Back! said...

You have no idea how my Karma went through the roof reading this!! YOU totally rock more and more each day Sunny!! I will enlighten you in a deep spiritual e-mail soon enough!! Thanks for the pep talk!!

~ Nikki

AliLilly said...

Amen sister!! Happy Holidays from a Texan raised Muslim turned Christian!! Yes....I have been banished!! HA!! I am an infidel!!! My dad (the Paki) has called us infidels for years....ya see he married a white lady! SHAME!! OH do you know what a Texan Muslims call to the holy war is???? JEEEE~HAWD! I know...it's funny.