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Dear Krista, I write this with enormous admiration for you and your work on On Being--what a gift that program is! Thank you to you and your staff for your efforts. As much as I hear what you are saying about Christmas, I have to disagree--I love the crazy hot mess of our American cultural Christmas. I am very much a spiritual seeker and person of faith. But, my experience of my faith has not been shaped by Christmas very much. There were countless other days, people, and readings, and experiences that have spoken to me more profoundly. So I accept the Christmas hoopla as is--a mess of materialism, parties, and flashing snowmen on front lawns. I am just accepting what is, embracing what is, and releasing the day from having to be a sacred religious event. I don't think it is possible to have an "on demand" deepening of religious experience anyways.
What I love about the Christmas season: my husband can take some time off of work; watching corny movies with our little ones along side the Christmas trees; preparing holiday foods that reflect my culture; pushing the kids in the stroller at night through our Southern California neighborhood looking at light displays. In fact, we just saw a light display of a purple hippopotamus with a santa hat on someone’s front lawn! Were hippos in the manager? Probably not, but it was absurd and sweet to see one on my neighbor’s lawn. We take the best out of the season and use it for family-building, relationships, culture, and delight.