The Holidays are Only Holy If We Make Them So

By Marianne Williamson

Consider something new and miraculous.

The year 2021 is now drawing to a close. Thanksgiving is past, Hannukah is here and Christmas approaches. Some of us religiously and all of us psychologically can sense the advent of new beginnings.

Our choice is whether to mindlessly or mindfully celebrate the holidays. Popular culture assaults us with its garish and consumerist approach to the holidays, but externalities such as that cannot penetrate the heart. The holidays only become holy days if we spiritually rise up to meet them. And then they are much, much more than just days on the calendar; they carry the power to change our lives.

Both Hannukah and Christmas are a festival of light, celebrations of God’s power to transcend the darkness of the world. Now think about that for a minute before reading on. Think environmental degradation; think Covid; think endless war machine; think economic inequality. Then consider again what it means that God has the power to transcend the darkness of the world. For those things are the darkness of the world. “Long lay the world in sin and error pining” applies as much to humanity’s condition today as it did two thousand years ago.

Hannukah is a reminder that at a time of great peril God overcame the laws of time and space as we know them, candles burning for eight days and nights and delivering the Jews to safety. Christmas is a similar reminder of transcendence, God descending into the soul of humanity and saving us from our internal darkness. The two are remarkably similar revelations that the darkness of the world is superseded by the light of God. That is the miracle of both.