Christmas is a week away. Whether you celebrate it or not, this holiday is unavoidable for most of us living in the continents of Africa, Europe, the Americas or elsewhere in the world. As society comes to a standstill to honor the life and death of Jesus, many are reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. Is it about family? about hope? about renewal, or the meaning of Love? The answer to that question is probably very individual.
For many around the world, part of that reflection includes questions about whether it is relevant for them to celebrate Christmas. In this new age of decolonizing the mind, many are searching for their authentic spiritual roots and returning to the religions once practiced by their Ancestors. All over Africa and its diaspora, in places as distant from each other as South America and Iceland, as well as in Europe people are reaching out to pre-Christian Gods and modes of worship. What is the meaning of Christmas for those people in this context?
Still, Christmas is here, we are faced with it now and most of us just need to get on with it. Between finishing up with work at the close of the year and getting ready for Christmas there was not much time for reflection. Some of us are looking forward to it, some of us are dreading it and some both. We have fuzzy feelings about spending time with family and we dread the conflict that comes with that. Some of us are caught up in the consumerist loop that many feel this holiday has become, others are searching for more meaningful ways to celebrate. Some of us might even be trying something different for the first time this year, like volunteering or going away into solitary retreat. Some of us might be joyful, as we are told it is appropriate to be at Christmas; others might be sad due to loss or painful memories associated with Christmas.
Christmas certainly brings up a lot of mixed feelings for many people and has been keeping us therapists busy in the months of December and January probably since therapy has existed. But Wherever you are on the Christmas barometer, I wish you Love, presence to whatever is going on for you at the moment, and renewed hope for yourself and humanity.
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