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Why is Christmas?

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Why is Christmas?

It’s not just a “holiday” (as it is now socially correct to say).
We love jolly old Santa, and reminisce with fondness on the ideas fed to us every year in the name of goodwill and love, but which always seem to be driven by economics. Amused by the thought of flying reindeer. Hearts tugged at with sentimentalism. Fantastic sales just to improve your holiday spirit.

Can we with honesty still admit it’s true origin? It takes a great effort to separate the truth from the materialism.
Can you feel the more than 2,000-year-old religious truth without shame or reservation? Is his birth still the core of your true holiday happiness? Will you, like me, tell all your friends and acquaintances where the true meaning lies? And, most important, will you share it with your children?
Christmas has always been about the birth of Jesus. Despite all efforts to the contrary, it will always be about the birth of Jesus.
Merry birth of Christ to all.

Our traditional Christmas editorial

In December of 1988, then-Editorial page editor Lois Wille asked one of her writers, Doug Kneeland, to craft an editorial that would capture the approaching holiday.
And what to Wille’s wondering eyes did appear? A lovely essay titled “As Christmas dawns,” which this Christmas dawn makes its 25th annual appearance in the Chicago Tribune.

Editorials speak for the Tribune, and this one proclaims that it intends to speak to every reader: “Christian, Jew, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, name it — we know this day, this Christmas, that dawns with a chorus of joy.”
There is vivid spirituality in this essay — the intertwined religious and secular spirits of Christmas as it is revered, and celebrated, in America’s delicious swirl of cultures.
We reprint this piece every Christmas for simple reasons: Many of our readers tell us they greet it with affection, and many of our editorial board members share its stated beliefs.
Doug died five years ago, just before Christmas, in his native Maine. Wille, now retired, tells us she thinks his editorial’s message is more timely than ever: “That radical young rabbi with his message of faith, hope, charity, share-your-wealth-with-the-poor would think so too.” Read Kneeland’s work and, as with all our editorials, decide whether you agree or disagree.
As Christmas dawns or whenever you crave a moment’s peace, turn or click to “As Christmas dawns.” And enjoy.

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