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Friday, May 24, 2013
Simply Having a Wonderful ChristmastimePosted Friday, December 26, 2008, at 10:27 AM
It seems like a lot of people have become fixated on the "true meaning" of Christmas recently. I suppose there is nothing wrong with that, but Christmas has come to mean so much more than Christ's birth that I think it would be impossible, and unpleasant, to do away with things like Frosty the Snowman, Santa and his reindeer and little Cindy Loo Who.
I saw a picture on Facebook the other day that has nothing to do with the "real" Christmas, but I think it is one of my favorite things from this holiday season. One of my Chinese friends (a girl I volunteered with at the Beijing Olympics) posted about a dozen photos of her with Christmas décor in her dorm room. In my favorite photo, Sophie and three of her friends pose in front of a little tree in Santa hats and pajamas. There are ball ornaments on the tree, a big gold star on top and a few unwrapped presents underneath.
These four girls are probably not Christians -- I know for sure that Sophie is not. (Many of the Chinese their age were raised secular because of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath.) They might know about the baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph, or they might not. They might have been to church before, or they might not. But does it matter?
I don't think so. I do not see their Christmas celebration as an attempt to be American or as a result of China's growing consumerism/materialism. I do not see them as being irreverent or as ignoring their own culture and traditions. I just see four young girls who are experiencing some of the joy and hope Christmas has to offer: the twinkling lights, the shimmering snow, the fun of giving and receiving gifts, the season where suddenly people are just a little bit nicer.
The smiles on their faces warm my heart and help me remember how wonderful Christmastime can be. Maybe if we could celebrate Christmas worldwide as a time of caring and sharing, with less of a focus on the divisive subject of religion, there would be a little more peace on earth.
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Something about music. Something about small towns. Something about Hong Kong. Or maybe something else entirely.
Sydney is a former staff writer for the Democrat-News. She received degrees from University of Missouri in both music and magazine journalism. She played oboe with the Marshall Philharmonic Orchestra and the Marshall Municipal Band while she was in Marshall.