Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Every December 25th, Christians everywhere celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ--the Son of God, through whom all of Mankind is offered eternal Salvation and life everlasting.
Every December 25th, people of all faiths unite in sharing this Christian holiday, joining the religious observance with interfaith wishes of peace on Earth and good will towards all men.
Every December 25th, we are called--regardless of faith--to reflect upon what truly matters in this world, and what truly does not matter.
Some keep the holiday with lavish festivity and expensive gift giving. Some keep the holiday by going to church. Some keep the holiday as a time for family and friends. Some keep the holiday in solitude.
Some keep the holiday by railing against the injustices of this world, and how humanity still does not enjoy the peace promised in the Gospel. Some keep the holiday by arguing the holiday is a fiction, that neither God nor His Son exist, or ever existed. Some keep the holiday in anger. Some keep the holiday in tears.
However a man keeps the Christmas holiday, it surely is among the greatest testimonies of Jesus that, in some fashion, nearly all the nations of the world keep some observance of the holiday. Perhaps that is the true holiday spirit, the real holiday message--that this one moment can be shared by all. One does not need to be a Christian to wish for peace in the world. One need not be baptized to wish for blessings of health and prosperity among all men, and an end to poverty, disease, crime, and violence. Such desires are not "Christian", but rather "human". Regardless of what we believe, it may be fairly presumed we all want a better world.
Ultimately, that is the "Christmas spirit"--the hope that a better world can be achieved; that the lion can lay with the lamb; that people can be generous, can be benevolent, can put aside violence, and anger, and hate. We can form a more perfect Union among men, we can establish Justice, we can insure Tranquility, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty for all men and all generations. No matter wide of the mark we yet are, no matter how many times we have tried and failed, we can do these things.
This is how I choose to keep the Christmas holiday: with a simple prayer for all Mankind, that all these things which we can do, we yet will do. I pray that our failures will not discourage us, that our sins will not defeat us, that our vices will not overmatch our virtues. I pray that we will make, not a perfect world, merely a better one.