One of my fundamental flaws as a legislator and human being is that, despite substantial evidence to the contrary, I believe that most people are fundamentally good.
That brings us to Christmas. For the disparate tribes of Christendom, the day celebrates the birth of the Christ child — the day when God and Man came into earthly contact.
Going forward, the course of human history took on a new trajectory. For example, the earthly manifestation of Christ introduced (on a mass scale) the concept of universal salvation. That novel idea attracted millions of both adherents and critics — within its first hundred years. I’m one of the believers.
In modern-day America, we are blessed with both religious toleration and pluralism. Thank God. During the year, I get invited to a lot of religious events, from Iftar dinners to Passover celebrations. I try to get to all of them, and I love that part of my job.
At Christmas, it’ s my chance as a Christian to share my faith, whether it’s from singing Christmas carols or just inviting friends to our church nativity pageant.
That’s why I eschew the generic “Season’s Greetings” and “Happy Holidays.” For me and my family, we are celebrating the gift of Christmas — and sharing that joy with all our friends and neighbors, both religious and secular.
In today’s America, it’s easy to complain about the commercialization of Christmas. It is what it is. We are who we are. Every child must have “Grand Theft Auto 4.0.”
But the meaning of Christmas is much more. It’s the gathering of families, the forgiving of debts, the sharing of gifts. It’s a baby born on a starry winter’s night in an animal’s stall in rural Palestine, while nearby shepherds watch over their flocks.
It’s the hope that we can be better next year. Better as people, better as a nation.
Peace on Earth. Good will to men.