Christmastime evokes a broad spectrum of emotions among the multitudes of people who partake in its observance. Be it a deep spiritual stirring arising from the celebration of a most pious day in Christendom, or the fun associated with decking the halls with boughs of holly and decorating the Christmas tree, or even the bliss of being with family and friends for the traditional Christmas gathering; Christmastime can mean different things to different people.
As a Jewish boy growing up on Long Island, Christmas was about going to my Christian friends’ homes and being welcomed by the mouthwatering aromas emanating from the kitchen and witnessing the transformation of the living room to a wonderland of garland and glitter. Of course there was the novelty of making Christmas cookies and almond flavored Russian tea balls. Needless to say, I ate more baked goods than I made (and I miss Christmas with the Kirk family.)
But above all, the magic of Christmastime makes me think of children. The lines of little ones waiting to sit on Santa’s lap and their look of wonder as they run through stores like FAO Schwartz; Christmas is about the children. Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Mister Magoo’s Christmas Story, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, The Polar Express, The Chipmunks; what parent hasn’t taken their child to such movies and watch their mesmerized faces glued to the big screen. And then of course there is children’s joyful anticipation of Christmas morning and their squeals of delight as they behold their presents under the tree. Christmastime is family time.
And while these mental images that I just shared with you are meant to be warm and fuzzy, I can’t help but think about the horrendous events in Newtown, Connecticut and how such an evil presence descended upon an idyllic town and shattered so many innocent lives, so many families. The shock and sadness of this national tragedy defies all that we hold dear. There is no sense to be made of this because it is insane. My prayers go out to the families of Newtown. There are so many of us with broken hearts who will hug our children a little tighter and tell them how much we love them.
But, that is not enough. We need tougher gun control laws. We must ban assault rifles and weapons with oversized magazines that have no other purpose but to bring about human carnage. I don’t like to preach politics and I’m not against the Second Amendment, but we must protect our children. Please, write to your congressmen and senators and weigh in. Let’s work together to affect a change for the good of all.
In the spirit of the holidays, I wish you all love, peace, and safety.