Christmas is good for business. The malls are filled with shoppers, loaded with their purchases. UPS will deliver 120 million packages this week alone. Fedex expects to deliver 317 million packages for the entire holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year. Families and friends will be having parties, one after another. Movie theaters are bursting with people, with Star Wars: The Force Awakens breaking all box office records. In the Bay Area, thousands are looking forward to watch the Warrior play the Cavaliers on Christmas Day.
And indeed Christmas is special. It is a time to remember and get in touch with those who are dear to us in a special and extraordinary way, making up for our neglect, our seeming uncaring and our forgetfulness for the entire year.
We give our loved ones a special gift to make up for our inattention during the year. We give friends and colleagues presents in gratitude for all the favors they have done for us during the year. We distribute give-aways and gifts to business partners and clients in appreciation of their business throughout the year.
But wait, that makes Christmas all about me. Christmas is about giving thanks, yes. But thanks for all the favors done to me and for me. It is all about reciprocity.
The first Christmas seems to be totally different. The surroundings and the circumstances were simpler and more austere. The gift of the child in the manger was a surprise and even unbeknownst to many. There was only a young maiden, her betrothed and they were so poor there was no room for them in the inn.
But the Child brought joy, which is often so sorely lacking in our festivities today. He brought peace, which is painfully absent in the world today. He brought hope, which is what our despairing world needs today. He brought love, which is a lesson we must learn or else we all shall perish.
I will shun the busyness and the business of Christmas and in my quiet and in solitude recapture the spirit of the first Christmas. I will seek and find joy in simplicity, peace in all the cacophony, hope in the all the calamities and love even when people may hate or dislike me. Christmas will be about being for others and not being engrossed with myself. I will give to those who will not be able to give back to me. I will pay attention to those the world have forgotten. I will serve those who have no one else to serve them.