Christmas is more than just a holiday

By John Tripe

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Happily the law is not aloof or unaware of summer and other seasonal holidays.

In the Southern hemisphere we shut down for Christmas - and stagger through summer.

It's the best and most natural time to take the break.

Even if you don't believe in God, you'll stop for Christmas, and may then wonder why. It began with tradition, but then the world changed, and faith gave way to atheism.

The common thread is that science has no explanation.

As enlightenment equates science with intelligence, scientists may dismiss as superstition what they don't understand and can't express. For us however who take time to think, the heart and mind are full of stuff that we can't put in plain words.

Some things can't be understood or explained, and we must leave them there; where faith remains.

Whatever our belief, we need Christmas.

We need occasional holidays, and now and again to shut down completely. Once upon a time there was a weekly day of rest, but we've lost it to enlightenment and commerce.

We still have a few true holidays and should both guard them and remember what they are. If we let them be just secular celebrations, they lose meaning, and sensible people will press to 'Monday-ise' them.

There's a point where we need to acknowledge and value things we cannot measure or express - the elusive distinctions between production and poetry, muscle and music, artisan and artist.

Anzac, Christmas and Waitangi are all special and to be honoured for what they are. Just now it's Christmas, and presents and so much more.

Let's join our families, bring out our memories, sing carols, and wonder about God. It's the celebration of his birth. Otherwise we'll sink into the grey mass of sameness, as even the communists did for a while - until they remembered the true reason and meaning of life - and rejoice in freedom.

John Tripe is principal with the Wanganui legal firm of Jack Riddet Tripe.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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