I am with family today, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I’m not going to write a long post because, well, I don’t really feel like it. But I did want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
As many of you know, I’m Jewish. My wife is not, and we observe Hanukkah, but we really celebrate Christmas more. In part that’s because, even as a kid, Hanukkah was not a big part of my life. My parents, both Jewish, celebrated Christmas, because that was what many Jewish families did back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s in order to fit in. It never bothered me; I liked it, really. And it left me with a childhood filled with fun Christmas morning memories. Like when I was eight and I came downstairs to find a huge Hot Wheels track — bright orange plastic, held together by those weird magenta-colored plastic tongues — set up under the tree, winding among the gifts of my older siblings and parents. Or the year when my oldest brother, who is 15 years older than I am, and the closest thing to a music-listening mentor I’ve ever had, gave me the LP of the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street, with all the lyrics typed out by hand and a note attached saying “I think you’re ready for this.”
Christmas, of course, is about more than gifts. I’m not a religious person (in any faith), and so the holiday means something different to me than it does to devout Christians. But gifts like the ones I remember most clearly from those Christmas’s of my youth and adolescence were not about material goods. They were truly expressions of love, of sharing, of expressing through the tradition of gift-giving the bonds that held my family together. That is what those memories mean to me. And it seems to me that at their best that is what Christmas gifts ought to be about.
And so I wish you a holiday filled with love, with beloved family and good friends, and, yes, with gifts that will linger in your memory long after the wrapping paper is thrown away and the tree is taken down.
I look forward to sharing MW with all of you in the New Year.David B. Coe http://www.DavidBCoe.com http://www.dbjackson-author.com http://magicalwords.net