Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas for a Card-Carrying Buddhist

There is something pure about rain falling in the desert. It reaches deep inside me to calm and delight my inner child. That is the first thing—a welcome change in weather—that comes to mind when someone mentions Christmas. It is a season where I spend more time indoors, munching popcorn, enjoying feel-good movies I’ve seen dozens of times, cuddling on the couch with a weighty novel while listening to the legato of life-giving rain on the roof.

Christmas for me is reflection, taking stock, appreciating where my journey has brought me and, most importantly, who I share this journey with. It is a time to gather with family and friends (who are also family) and relish a meal, a cup of cheer, the bond of love.

Being a practicing Buddhist, I don’t celebrate the birth of Christ any more than I commemorate the birth of any other person. My husband and I don’t decorate a tree or string colorful lights across the roof. We don’t buy gifts for each other or others. The only tradition we observe is sending out greeting cards, as a way to stay in touch with loved ones.

For Christians, this season is a time to rejoice in their faith. We Buddhists try to do that each day of the year.

Lastly, Christmas is the time of the year drawing to a close, which makes me reflect on what the next year will bring for everyone sharing this planet.  There are worldwide challenges, which brings opportunities everywhere to get involved and make a difference. So for me, it is a time of looking forward with much hope for humanity.

May your holiday season surpass your most cherished expectations. 


Lloyd Meeker said...

Thanks for the thoughtful post, Alan, and your new year wishes.

In my year, it's the Winter Solstice that closes one cycle and opens another. As that milestone approaches, I've been called to give respectful thanks for what wants to pass away as much as for what wants to be born.

May your coming year be full of graceful passages, both coming and going, both equally filled with beauty and blessing.

Kage Alan said...

I very much like your idea of reflection during the holiday. Christmas was always a time of magic for me when I was growing up. Then, as with what happens, you see behind the curtain and start to help with making it magic for others who haven't seen the people pulling the levers.

December has become a time of endings and renewals, at least in my eyes. I simply do my best these days to help keep a festive spirit alive for those who would enjoy it and those who need it.

Happy Holidays to you and Herman!