I don’t claim to be a religious person but have to admit that the secularization of Christmas and the marginalization of Christians generally is troubling to me. Christians are oft portrayed as intolerant, closed-minded and, dare I say it, stupid. Having grown up in a Christian home and having seen first-hand how my parents and others in our church community deported themselves, compared to many in the larger community, I can say that in my experience I have found Christians to be mostly tolerant, forgiving and inclusive of those shunned by others. Whatever my personal feelings might be, I don’t want the celebration to be styled as ‘Xmas’ or any other aberration. It will always be ‘Christmas’ to me.
So . . . I am not including the tropical Santa photograph above as a sop to secularism. Nor am I excluding a religious graphic as an anti-Christian statement. I just thought the image to be an interesting juxtaposition of Santa, with his North Pole attire, against a backdrop of tropical shrubbery.
I took the photograph above in Panama City during one of my many trips to the Republic of Panama over the last several years. The setting tickled my fancy and I couldn’t resist taking the photograph to show my friends back home in Canada.
We are living in an increasingly troubling world. Our economies are broken, our governments are trampling our rights and voters are delusional about what politicians and bureaucrats can do to provide remedy. We are in for an interesting ride in the next several years. The world will be quite different from what it was when we were all growing up. With the exception of the gadgetry that we all enjoy today, most of the changes that we will experience, even here in North America, will not be positive.
I know that this Christmas missive from me might seem a bit strange with its subtext of doom and gloom, but it is not my intention to frighten anyone or to promote any sense of hopelessness. I believe that the indomitable human spirit that has seen the world and the human race through so many crises in the past will be triumphant once again, and that during troubled times we should just do the best we can and be thankful for what we have, most especially friends and families.
From me and my family, to you and your family, I would like to express my heartfelt wish for a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May good health and good sense be with you always.