Christmas Eve.  It’s a special time for so many!
Or, is it?

Do you remember Archie Bunker of TV’s “All in the Family” fame?  In one episode – on Christmas Eve, Archie said to his wife Edith: “Stifle, Edith. Let’s have a little Silent Night around here for a change. I’m the only one thinking of the real solemn meaning of Christmas.  Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace and quiet contemplation.”

Edith replied “But Archie, I think you’re allowed to be jolly, too.”

“Sure, Edith. I never said you shouldn’t be jolly.  Just be jolly with your mouth shut” said Archie.

When I first saw that episode, I was not amused by Archie’s disrespectful response.   When I saw that episode again recently, I couldn’t help but wonder, especially in light of the pandemic and political happenings affecting people around the world, how can people not “stifle”?    Where is the joy … the zest for life … the hope in a better tomorrow?

As I pondered, prayed and reflected, an image of children entered my thoughts:   their innocence … infectious eyes and smiles … ability to enter into joy with their imagination intact … anticipation and sheer delight at  holidays and birthdays … wide-eyed awe at the sight of a puppy, a kitten, coloured Christmas lights … expectant that Santa would visit them this night.

Children are a wonderful reminder that
… ultimately good *can* conquer evil
… hope *can* overcome despair
… love *can* obliterate hatred
… joy *can* permeate sadness.

… if we “stifle” and don’t speak out against hatred, racism, lies, evil
… if we don’t speak out against what we know is wrong
… if we don’t let our voice and actions protest injustice and cruelty
we leave a legacy for children
that will change us all
and there will be no children who will be able to teach us how to live with
hope, goodness, love, joy.

Let’s let the children teach us
teach us how to live Christmas.

May this Christmas Eve remind us of the importance of joy!
May this Christmas Eve touch hearts so people can be more kind and compassionate.
May this Christmas Eve bring a glimpse of hope
– hope that there will be future Christmas Eve’s
… where children are reunited with their families
… where children aren’t asking Santa for a warm coat or food or shelter
… where children are singing out loud with joy!

I wish all a “Merry Christmas” whether Christmas is observed as a religious celebration or a secular holiday
And tomorrow morning – Christmas Day – as a new day dawns,
may there be a gentle bud of joy growing in hearts.
Merry Christmas!

~~~~~~~~~~This Christmas series of reflections began last night – the Eve of Christmas Eve.
It will continue through each of the Twelve Days of Christmas as celebrated in western Christianity.
Along with other reflections on a variety of themes, the Christmas series can be found at  OR  OR


© June Maffin

(Photo of my son, Tod, one Christmas Eve, oh so very long ago.  Used with his permission.)