What Christmas Means to Me
It’s the most wonderful time of the year; it is only 5 days before Christmas and 2 days before I leave for Korea. It has snowed a bunch the last few days making it look Christmassy (but slushy around noon). Everyone’s getting ready for Christmas and break and that made me want to talk about Christmas for me back home in Korea.
Now, my family and I don’t celebrate Christmas per se, but the date is a national holiday in Korea (unlike other countries in East Asia – go check ‘Christmas Worldwide’ in Wikipedia) and we fully take advantage of it. We don’t have a great Christmas feast, but our families gather and have fun. We don’t have a particular activity, but just family getting together is fun by itself. Besides, I wouldn’t get in the way of celebrating someone who preached love for everyone even though I myself may be irreligious. I enjoy the carols sung by Christians on the streets and donate to the Salvation Army if I have some to spare.
I remember around this time of the year last year, there was a news report on TV about Christmas trees in Buddhist monasteries in Korea; it was a gesture by Korean Buddhists and Christians to emphasize that their common belief in peace, love and tolerance of others regardless of religion is above all else. Korea’s very fortunate that its diversity of religions (according to the last census, 22.8% of Koreans are Buddhists; 18.3% Protestants; 10.9% Catholics) doesn’t lead to violence or instability, but such is not the case in many places around the world. As the end of this year and the start of a new year approach, I wish everyone could put away the differences and realize these fundamental values.
That was my personal view and belief I really wanted to share with everyone.
With that in mind, Merry Christmas to everyone.