Christmas

Christmas

“The Ancient of Days has become an infant.”

—John Chrysostom, 4th century

On Christmas Eve, we read Luke’s dramatic account of the birth of Jesus (2:1-20). On Christmas Day, we read the prologue from John’s gospel (1:1-14).

The recent media attention to whether Jesus was white, whether Santa is white, and the so-called “war on Christmas” distract from a question that has plagued me my whole life: What’s a non-Christian South Asian American to do during Christmas?

On February 6, 2012, I was at work in Delaware when I got a call from Mom in Arizona. Dad was worse, she said. They’d called in hospice.

I hesitated. I was already planning to visit at the end of the month. Did I really need to drop everything — to miss the board meeting of the organization I work for? I phoned the nursing home where Dad lived. Yes, his nurse said. It won’t be long now — maybe hours, maybe days.

Pádraig Ó Tuama on the inaccuracy of the Christmas story, as commonly told, for we might miss the more important message within.

This week's been one of those surprising times when so many people identified with Krista's Scrooge-like outlook on Christmas but add to the discussion by contributing to community.

Krista Tippett on not playing the Christmas game of obligatory gift-giving and the redemptive human need for one another.

By turning away from wanting things to valuing people, we can celebrate the holiday season through the eyes of a "beloved community" and ask what kind of community we can create together.

With so many Christmas carols that bridge the chasm of time and space, it's a classic Spiritual that brings a "delightful burst of Christmas cheer." Listen to this rendition from Margaret Becker and Jennifer Knapp.

Iraqi Christian Girls Sing in AmmanIraqi Christian girls attend Christmas Mass at Chaldean Catholic Church in Amman, Jordan on December 25, 2011. (photo: Ali Jarekji/Reuters)

2nd night of HanukkahAlthough I was born on Christmas, I feel like I’m slightly part Hanukkah now. Each year since I remarried — an event which brought two Jewish stepchildren into my life — I have anticipated the Festival of Lights with almost as much excitement as my hybrid celebration of the Winter Solstice/Yule and Christmas.

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