It’s Christmas.228283_564760040220120_6873465_n

I stay away from politics and religion on this blog. I don’t do that because I don’t have any or don’t want to discuss them; on the contrary, as my conversations and posts on other sites bear out, I do indeed have them, and I do indeed discuss them. In fact, I stand firmly behind my literary hero G. K. Chesterton in this regard, who (when he was instructed he could write about anything other than these two subjects) said “There is nothing else worth writing about.”

Rather, I stay away from discussing them (aside from the occasional review) because I don’t want to argue about them. Not, at least, here on this blog, which I have always intended as a source of information about stories, whether written or being written. These two subjects are divisive, despite being — by definition — unitive at the same time.

But I am going to talk for a moment about “the reason for the season.” Not a Jesus lecture, not some sermon about how getting together with a bunch of strangers to read from a 1,700-year-old book of 1,900-plus-year-old words on a cold day is the most important thing you can do on an arbitrary day of the last month of the equally-arbitrary year. It’s not even something Christian, really — or rather, not exclusively Christian. And that’s fine. We celebrate a lot of holidays without having a direct connection to the origin of those celebrations.

I look around, in fact, and see a lot of people celebrating a holiday that belongs to a religion I profess, yet they themselves don’t profess the same beliefs. Sometimes they differ a lot. Other times, just enough to really notice. And as I look around for a common denominator, asking myself why Christmas matters to so many non-Christians, I find myself settling on two ideas: hope and family.  Continue reading