I have two blog post topics on my computer's little to-do list: the "Holiday Spirit," and the beautiful Beatles song "All You Need Is Love." I am actually just going to write about both of them at the same time, because the more I think of it, I realize that love IS the holiday spirit.
Thanksgiving is approaching, and that is the time of year when we turn to those who have blessed our lives and say, "hey, thanks, Guy Who Invented Egg Nog! I bought some Pumpkin Egg Nog at the store yesterday and IT IS REALLY REALLY GOOD" (as a side note, no one knows who invented Egg Nog? Wikipedia, you have failed me!).
Anyway, Thanksgiving is a time where we express love for those who have helped us. We enjoy the reminder to thank our parents for raising us, thank our God for forgiving us, and thank our veterans for protecting us, etc.
At least, that's what Thanksgiving ought to be. Maybe it isn't enough of the time. Maybe too much of the time it is just a chance to get off work, eat gluttonously, and start shopping in anticipation of an overly-materialistic Christmas just around the corner.
Speaking of Christmas, let's talk about what that's all about. We can all agree that Christmas is really special, regardless of whether we believe in Christ, right? I've already written a pretty detailed article about Christmas on this blog in the past (you can click here to read that post if you want). That was three years ago, but my thoughts are pretty much the same: I believe that the Christmas holiday, and even the Christmas story itself, has a universal power that can transcend our personal religious beliefs if we let it. But of course, it's easy to get lost in the chaos, the inane Tim Allen comedies, and the media's insistence that Christmas is really about BUYING ALL THE THINGS, you know what I mean?
You know what I mean.
So how can we make Thanksgiving and Christmas more meaningful this year? How can we use this holiday season to avoid the trivialities of the world instead of to embrace them?
Maybe we just need to listen to John Lennon's lyrics a little more.
"All you need is love," sang the Beatles to the world in the June of 1967. Literally, they sang this to the whole world, in a big international TV broadcast called "Our World," which an estimated 400 to 700 million people watched. The Beatles specifically chose to play this song for the broadcast, as a message to the world: a purposeful piece of propagandic art, with an unambiguous message: love is everything.
This is the same message Jesus tried to share two thousand years ago.
Maybe if we remember that love is everything, that love is the center of all we ought to celebrate and emulate and be grateful for, then we can truly have a meaningful holiday season this year. And that is all I have to say about that.
Happy Thanksgiving, and Merry Christmas, to all of you.