He Was Born Of A Non-Virgin Non-Mary
He was born of a non-virgin non-Mary.
He was born a month prematurely, disrupting his mother’s plans for a large feast of Italian beef sandwiches, dipped, with all the fixings.
He wasn’t born in a manger surrounded by livestock and three wise men. He was born in a hospital in Evanston. After the doc gave the go-ahead, he was brought home in a festive, red-felt, baby-sized stocking. One with big white pom-poms rimming the open edge. He was brought home to his family’s tiny first house in Des Plaines, Illinois, on Hollywood Avenue, right along the train tracks.
He was healthy, despite coming a month early. He kind of looked like Popeye as an infant. But he was colicky. Cried his face off. Brought his mother to the edge as she wept along, pleading, "What is it?" But then he grew up to be a pretty good boy by most accounts.
He is me. And no I am not saying I am Jesus. It’s just that when I think of Christmas, I often think about how it’s different for people born on the holiday like myself. In one way, your birthday kind of disappears, caught up in the rush of the season as people run from here to there, buying gifts for everyone, on their way to parties for everyone, even if your family and friends try extra hard to not make it so. Baby Jesus' birthday trumps your birthday, every time, even if I don't consider myself a religious man. And it's OK because that story of Christmas is about much more.
Besides, historians claim that our calendar is not the same as the calendar used during biblical times, so Jesus was probably born on a different day anyways.
And besides, scientists claim that no one could be born of a virgin anything. I’m not knocking Mary, I'm just saying... it’s just that sperm has to meet egg somewhere in the dance. According to scientists.
It doesn't matter if the age-old tale of Christmas as Christianity dictates is 100 percent true or not, Christmas and it’s non-Christian counterparts play a significant role in our lives during the winter months.
As the mercury drops, hearts warm at the thought of the holiday spirit. People who don’t do anything philanthropic all year decide to volunteer or donate to a cause they feel is worthy. People feel more inclined to spare that change to a freezing homeless woman or man with their hand out. People say nice things like Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, coming and going, strangers sharing in that holiday spirit.
Holiday spirit is hot drinks and warm, compassionate souls. Holiday spirit is that good cheese.
Just promise me you all won’t get caught up in the materialistic bullshit, grown-ass adults fighting over the last Barbie doll or whatever it is kids want these days.
And please promise me especially that you all won’t get caught up in the pitting-each-other's-religious-beliefs-against-one-another bullshit, getting pissy if someone says something universal like “Happy Holidays” to you instead of inserting your preferred holiday. Don't be part of that whole thing. Especially if you love Christmas.
And for the love of baby Jesus, please do not propagate this whole war on Christmas bullshit!
Remember the story of Jesus, whether you choose to make it your belief or not. Whoever he was, he was a good dude trying to make life suck less for others, trying to help bear the burden.
For instance, the problem of world hunger in modern society. Whether you believe that he magically multiplied loaves and fishes with God-powers or not, he probably did feed a bunch of hungry people. Because at that time he had found himself more fortunate than those around him and he decided he wanted to help. So living by that example makes sense to me.
Whether you believe that he miraculously healed the sick or not, he no doubt helped treat their symptoms in a way that he hoped would ease their pain. He likely saw people hurting and just wanted to do something to make it better. Just to have someone care for you when you’re sick can make all the difference in your recovery. So, yes, to me (an admittedly agnostic individual), living by that example makes sense to me.
Because at the end of the day it’s about being kind to one another and following the golden rule. The golden rule of course is... don’t be a dick. In a world where you can choose to be anything, choose to be kind at the very least. Yeah we’re all entitled to having days where we’re slightly irritable but make sure you’re able to recognize when you’re dumping your shit on other people and projecting.
And make a resolution to do it less this year because no matter who you are, we all project our unhappiness sometimes. By resolving to do it less, you’ll be doing your part to make the world a happier and nicer place in the coming year. Consider it your birthday present to me.