As the world prepares to celebrate Christmas, I am reminded that for the past 350+ years, the Quakers have been quietly observant of Christmas every day. Although a lot of Quakers have succumbed to Christmas trees, decorations and gifts, there is this whispering reminder that if we believe in the true reason for Christmas celebration, we would do well to bring that joyous, loving, sharing of S/spirit into our everyday lives.
Of all the Christmas decorations, my favorite are the lights. Perhaps it’s a childhood awe, but I remain cheered by the small displays of lights of Christmas. I completely enjoy the peeking out of lights of a Christmas three through the home’s window, the small string of lights that lace the deck railing. The ostentatious display of Christmas lights brings disquiet to me–it is the opulent display that does not seem to celebrate the season as it does to bring attention to the owner, and creates a larger carbon footprint. Quakers are seekers of the Light within. A small display of Christmas lights reminds me of sharing of the Light within each of us. A reminder that we all have Light to seek and to share.
As much as I appreciate, value and enjoy the music of Christmas, I believe that we would be vastly served to have the expectation that we can “grow up singing.” Choirs and singing can be powerful tools against violence. The Estonia documentary in “Singing Revolution” is testament to this premise. There are quiet Quakers who do not sing before or during Meeting for Worship. In my association with this group of Quakers, I have not found any Friend who does not appreciate and value the singing and music of others.
What does a celebration of Christmas look like every day? For me, it has to do with looking for the joy in the task, the moment, the ability to give and share. This is not always an easy thing to do, but it were easy, I think I would ignore the importance of seeking joy in the small things. It means that I endeavor to remind myself that even those that challenge my beliefs have the Light in them. As much Light as I have. Equality in sharing Spirit is often a testing for me.
I am wishing you a Merry Christmas and in the Quaker way, this is wishing you a joyful sharing of your Spirit–every day. Wishing all of us the ability to live simply, giving more to take care of others while reducing our waste of earth’s precious gifts.
Peaceful Blessings, now and every day,