I stopped celebrating the Christian Christmas many years ago, but I do celebrate the holiday and look upon Christmas as a time to remember Christmas of times past – a time of memory. It is even more poignant for me this year because, after 25 or more years, I have found my brother – or should I say – he found me on Facebook. Not only did he find me on Facebook, but he also discovered Skype. We lost contact with each other all those years ago and have just reunited, spending long hours on Skype talking to each other. He is in Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia, and I am in Seattle, Washington, USA. The last two weeks have been spent with both of us saying, “Remember when?” and laughing at times ‘till we cried! More than anything, my brother has discovered Skype and he is amazed at how he can communicate using it. I told him about being able to see my grandchildren open their presents in Australia on Christmas Day and it only being Christmas Eve here in the USA.
For me it is a happy Christmas because I’m able to communicate with my brother, but for Alan it is a sad time as his family has split apart into two factions, and it means that this Christmas the gathering will be missing members of his family. His marital break-up six years ago caused the rift and, unfortunately, sides were taken – which has turned quite ugly. I know this is not an isolated incident and many thousands (if not millions) of families around the world will be spending the holidays the same way. One can ask, “But why does this happen?” Well, it is happening because people have free will and choice, and because we – as humanity – have not yet learned to let go of emotional detachment. We also judge others instead of accepting their choices and we hold anger inside of us for those who have created the issues such as those mentioned.