A couple of nights ago, I was enjoying the lights on my Christmas tree and got to wondering how the trees and lights came to be a tradition of the season. I wondered if most of the time they help us focus on the reason for this Advent season, or with the presents and parties and busyness of holiday preparations, are they just part of the many distractions that can make us forget why so many all over the world simultaneously celebrate the birth of one infant two thousand years ago?
I suppose there’s no reason Christmas would be any different than the rest of the year. It’s too easy to let daily challenges distract us from what’s important. Now and then, one of life’s big challenges knocks us off our feet and reminds us what’s important. Some of us get the unwanted gift of having one of those changes be so impactful as to change our perspective for life. Most of us, however, spend most of our lives distracted.
There’s not much of the Christmas season left, but I commit to trying to spend it focusing on what’s important to me—faith, family, and friends. People, not things, and an event that occurred thousands of years ago that continues to bring love, hope, and peace to our world. Heaven knows we need it.
“All major religious traditions carry basically the same traditions, that is love, compassion, and forgiveness. The important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.” –Dalai Lama