christmas tree

I will keep this short because some of you probably need to get back to wrapping presents…

So what does Christmas mean to a Buddhist… Hmmm… maybe I should rephrase that: What does Christmas mean to me; a guy raised in a Christian household but his suffering and wisdom understood with more clarity and insight through eastern philosophy.  I meditate daily, watch my Karma and really see no internal or external connection to western based religious dogma. I am not a proponent of organized faith but Buddhism speaks to me…

From an American perspective, what is this thing we call Christmas? We see advertising for it in October.  Some want the Christ back in Christmas! I guess I don’t blame them… Most of the big retail corporations only what your money in their coffers… You have got Santa competing against Jesus and Target competing against Walmart. It is a stressful time of year and I think a lot of us caught in the cross fire are thankful when it is all over.

…still, you know what? I love Christmas!

I love the twinkling little lights, the decorations and yes, the food! I love how everyone is in a good mood and people give like no other season. The energy is alive and flowing during Christmas and there is something special about that moment when the dawn illuminates freshly fallen snow and the unmistakable glisten of excitement we see in the eyes of our children. For a moment it seems like everything is perfect in the world. I even like Christmas songs.. even the religious ones like “Silent Night” 🙂

Do I thank Jesus for that feeling?

Yes, we celebrate Christmas. We strings lights, hang holly and buy our friends and family gifts. Still, Christmas for me is not about religious dogma. It is about winter solstice, light, energy and love. Winter is part of the celebration of the Mandala of life. In autumn we see the trees turn as fall takes the hand of summer. Then it is winter that casts its cold gaze over our world. Yet, there is faith that spring will come. Yes, for me, Christmas and New Years is a time to celebrate our lives, be reverent,  to give and center ourselves in the energy of illumination, love and wisdom. A celebration of the past, present and yes… the future!

My Birthday is the day after so do not get mad if I say Happy Holidays to you all!

Ah, hell with it…. Merry Christmas!

John C. Bader