COMMENTARY: Will This Be a Good Christmas?

Will this be a good Christmas?

To lots of kids, the answer may be embedded in the response to the question: “Whaddja get?”

On the other hand, retailers and Wall Street investors will look to sales and profits.

What a pity that the spiritual and social potential of this holiday can be so easily lost.

Of course, Christmas is a profoundly important day of worship to devout Christians, so a “good” Christmas must include a meaningful religious connection with the teachings of Jesus.

But for many Christians and non-Christians, there are other dimensions to this day.

In fact, Christmas is more than a single day; it’s a season involving weeks of preparation and celebration devoted to family, friendships and, most important of all, a grand vision of “peace on earth and goodwill toward men.”

To me, a good Christmas is one that helps us become better people so we can have better lives and a better society.

On a personal level, the optimism, good cheer, and goodwill embodied in the Christmas spirit are antidotes to selfishness and superficiality. They can help us find purpose and meaning in love, kindness, charity, gratitude, and forgiveness.

On a social level, a good Christmas is one where we can say we’ve made meaningful progress combating homelessness, hunger, and poverty. It would also be a good Christmas if we truly overcame the fears, suspicions, and prejudices that may be hindering our expression of goodwill to all men, regardless of their ethnicity, national origin, or personal religion.

So regardless of your religion, I hope you’ll make this Christmas a good one.

This is Michael Josephson reminding you that character counts.

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