On these pages I have stressed this point many times: “I believe the majority of the people in the world are good.” Regardless of the bad news we receive on any given day from any given place, I continue to maintain that statement as an important mantra.
Not only to I believe the majority of the people in the world are good, I also see Santa as the Spirit of Goodness because it is that spirit that touches all.
It is the season of Christmas across Christendom – and yes, Christmas is a religious holiday – and yes – I am Christian – and yes, I embrace Christmas a secular holiday for all.
Whereas some Christians (and I believe the minority) complain about the commercialism while proclaiming, Put Christ back in Christmas, I say there is plenty of room for everyone in a secular Christmas because Santa – the Spirit of Goodness – is for everyone. Santa is for Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Atheists, Agnostics, Humanists, Naturalists, Christians, and anyone and everyone else.
During our recent trip to the Czech Republic, were told (multiple times) that the vast majority of Czechs today do not identify themselves as religious – let alone associated with a religious community. Yet – they embrace Christmas. I’m confident the Czech example if not unique – but rather very common because they embrace the Spirit of Goodness that the season brings.
Mannheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is one of my favorites. Below are different videos to the same song. I hope you pick one (and let me know).
May the Spirit of Goodness be with you not only during this holiday season, but throughout life.
Beautiful painting of the season and live wildlife
Although the daily news goes against these thoughts, but I truly believe the following:
The majority of people in the world are good.
Smiles are the universal language that crosses all language and cultural barriers.
Kindness is the universal action that everyone appreciates.
These points are constantly in my head when volunteering at the English Second Language (ESL) classes – especially with Arabs and Muslims. For me, Matt Harding’s videos support my thoughts. After all, all one has to do is watch the faces in the video. Maybe that’s part of the reason this video frequently waters my eyes.
You may wonder what this has to do with the Christmas season, but (to me) it demonstrates an important essence of the holiday season in today’s world.
Yes, Christmas is a Christian holiday … and yes, I’m a Christian. While some complain about the secular and commercial aspect by proclaiming “put Christ back into Christmas”, my contrarian nature sees another view. For those embracing that mantra, I say go for it – but not at the expense of others because the spirit of Christmas is for everyone.
Besides its religious significance, Christmas is also a celebration of goodness: The goodness that ties the entire human race. The goodness that crosses all geographic and cultural boundaries, including language and religion. The goodness that is for Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Atheists, Agnostics, Sikhs, and all other religions. The goodness is for all ages, all genders, all races, and all sexual orientations … simply the goodness for all people everywhere.
Yes, the roots of Santa Claus lie deep within Christianity. From St. Nicholas (Nicholas of Myra), other traditions developed as baby Christkindl (eventually Kris Kringle), Father Christmas, and Sinterklaas. Europeans brought these traditions (and others) to the United States that serve as the foundation for Christmas today.
Several events in mid-to-late 1800s helped morph Santa: mainly Thomas Nast’s version of Santa in Harper’s Weekly, and Clement Clayton Moore’s icon poem, The Night Before Christmas.
Although Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus and various Norman Rockwell paintings helped transform Santa’s image in the early 1900s, it was artist Haddon Sundblom’s portrayals of Santa Claus for Coca-Cola that cemented the image of Santa Claus that we embrace today. From 1931-1964, Sundblom’s Santa served as a brilliant marketing total for the beverage company giant.
All along the journey from Nicholas of Myra to the modern-day Santa, goodness is the common theme. Santa Claus is the spirit of Christmas – the one who portrays goodness and kindness to all. If goodness is for everyone, it seems logical to me that everyone can celebrate Christmas. Santa Claus is the one who sees kindness across cultures, religions, races, and languages. After all, the majority of us want kindness, plus peace and goodwill for all.
In the spirit of Santa’s goodness, thank you for all the joys you regularly give to me. Thank you for helping me maintain my faith in humanity. One hand is sufficient in counting the number of visitors here I’ve physically met, but I am sure of one thing – You are the good of Santa’s spirit.
For my video gifts to you, enjoy two version of Silent Night. The first by Mannheim Steamroller accompanied by beautiful displays from the night sky is one of my long-time favorites. For those preferring a singer, Placido Domingo joins The Piano Guys.
Merry Christmas to those who accept Santa as the spirit of Christmas … Happy Holiday to those preferring that greeting … and to my Christian friends, a blessed Christmas to you.
Interfaith graphic by Justice St. Rain (Bahá’í Community) of Interfaith Resources
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.
Yes, Virginia, when I was your age, I believed in Santa – then I questioned – and then I did not believe for a long time – but I was older when I realized Santa Claus is real.
Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to a Christian holiday, but because of Santa, many celebrate Christmas who aren’t Christians.
Yes, Virginia, Santa is important because he is a spirit for all of humanity. He’s not White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian … He may be all of those or whoever someone wants him to be because Santa is for everyone.
Yes, Virginia, we link Santa Claus to St. Nicholas (a Christian saint), but the gift of giving and kindness is important to not just to Christians, but to Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Secular Humanists, and all the religions of all the people throughout the big, wonderful world.
Yes, Virginia, some loudly complain about a war on Christmas, buy they do not give Santa much credit.
Yes, Virginia, in the spirit of Santa Claus, I want to give gifts to my readers and anyone who visits this post because I believe there are so many good people throughout the world – and kindness is something all of us have in common.
Yes, Virginia, I want anyone to take as many gifts under this tree as the they want – as long as they tell me in a comment – and they can return as often as they want for more! Yes Virginia, giving is important.
To my fellow Christian friends, Merry Christmas – and we also know what else we are celebrating – and that is important to us to remember.
To all, may the spirit kindness of the holiday season touch each of you … and thanks for all of your doses of Santa kindness that you deliver to my little corner of the world throughout the year and in the time to come.
Yes, Virginia, Santa is about Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All!
Many of us are grown up now, but Michael Buble shares a Grown Up Christmas List through clips of classic movies about the holidays.
This Bing Crosby classic song is a wonderful tradition.
Lights are one of the joys of the season, so here’s a house serving as a background to an acoustic guitar version of The First Noel by Trans Siberian Orchestra
Several years ago, Lynn (Composer in the Garden) wrote Father Time, and this is a good opportunity to share her spirit of the season.
To many, handbells are a sound of the season. Here is a fast-paced version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen with interesting techniques that our choir is playing Christmas Eve. (Start at 1:15 in the video)
Here’s some Christmas flavor from a local legend. Like her famous nephew George, the late Rosemary Clooney’s roots are Cincinnati. Her Christmas Mem’ries will rekindle your memories.
I find Where Are You Christmas? by The Piano Guys to be special music that is fitting for this post.
… and their Carol of the Bells is outstanding.
For the dancers in the crowd, a spin around the floor to the Christmas Waltz promises to deliver smiles.
A post like this must include on piece of humor, thus so cheers to the Star Trek spin on a holiday favorite.
. A Fire for You (John Boswell) delivers beautiful music to for the Winter Solstice and the season.
The universe is a spectacular place, and its wonders continue to amaze me. Enjoy a trip through the universe through the Hubble telescope accompanied by a piano version of Oh Holy Night.
Manheim Steamroller’s version of Silent Night is not only one of my favorite joys of the season, it is also very calming and accompanied by beautiful images.
For those wanting to celebrate the sounds of Christmas through voices, Andrea Bocelli and Katherine Jenkins are wonderful together … and yes Virginia, I believe.