Uplifting Humanity is Like Christmas Every Day
The world instinctively becomes more compassionate, hopeful and generous at Christmastime. Of course, Christians joyously celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the source of our hope and salvation, and we try to point others to “the reason for the season”. Although the rituals, customs, individual celebrations and manifestations of Christmas vary around the globe—even from one family to the next—I find it miraculous that the world of Christians, non-Christians, atheists and all still acknowledges this holiday with Christ’s name at the front of it as the most celebrated of the year and of all time.
While some folks in the commercial sector like to replace the word Christmas with “holiday” (e.g., “happy holidays”), as we say here in Texas, “That dog won’t hunt.” It’s still Christmas—the universally known celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Drive through any big Christmas light displays and you’re bound to see a manger scene with the three wise men standing alongside Santa and his reindeer and even a snowman or two. This scramble of symbols and decorations is actually an amazing testament to the universality of Christmas. Notwithstanding the many culturally dictated differences in how we celebrate it, the Christmas holiday is one thing we have in common with people and communities all around the world.
As an advocate for green and healthy living, I find Christmas a particularly appropriate time to remember how blessed we are to be living in such a perfectly created environment, one that only God could have designed. It provides everything we need to live and thrive physically, and has imbued us with such abundant universal commonalities that we must work overtime to dream up differences to divide us.
In fact, this world requires that we depend on each other and all other living things for our very survival. Christmas is a time to be woke to the many unnecessary and often unconscious ways we take this wonderful blessing for granted, starting with the pollution and waste caused by our gift giving. Do we really need all that single-use giftwrap and all those plastic bows? Why not use eco-friendly and sustainably produced versions of these items, and introduce others to them too? (If you need some help, check out our article on eco-friendly gifting, page 22)
I’ve pledged to do better this year, heartened by what a friend recently advised me when I was lamenting about the meager impact of my efforts: “The mere fact that you’re out there taking definitive action is a win.” Seldom does this big old world change as a result of one individual action; it takes many actions. But if we fail to take action at all, nothing will change. So let’s all vow to be part of the change we want to see this Christmas season!
In the spirit of the season, this month’s issue focuses on matters of the soul with Linda Sechrist’s uplifting feature, “The Emerging Power of ‘We’: Awakening to the Evolution of Community.” Here you’ll find a compelling argument that collective wisdom, collaborative change and the need to evolve from a culture of “me” to a culture of “we” may be the key to addressing the major challenges that confront humankind.
In “Ed Lowe’s Legacy of Sustainability at Celebration Restaurant,” page 16 we take a moment to remember the founder of North Texas’s original farm-to-table restaurant, and Friends of the Brazos River. Ed passed away a little over a year ago, doing what he loved to do—camping in the Big Bend. In writing this story, we noticed a common quality among those who care deeply for the environment: They exhibit that same deep care and consideration for the people around them. Ed’s story inspires us to live our best lives. We think it will inspire you too.
As always, we hope you will find much in this month’s issue to help you live a healthier life on a healthier planet. Thank you for being a faithful reader and supporter of Natural Awakenings. I pray that you and yours will have a happy and healthy Christmas season.