Today is that most magical and ironical time of the year. It is the happiest and saddest of times, the most divine yet the most commercial. It is the spell when love or loneliness thrives or consumes. What is it about Christmas that opens up the heart of hearts and makes it more vulnerable?
Interestingly, the history of this holiday is in itself a paradox. Most Christians believe that December 25 is the actual day that Jesus was born, calculated nine months after the Annunciation when the Blessed Virgin Mary was singled out to be the Mother of Christ. Some scholars have challenged this notion. They submit that in the 4th century, the Roman Church chose the day that coincided with the winter solstice, supposedly the birthday of Sol Invictus. They allege that the assignment of December 25 as Christmas day was a clever ruse to replace the pagan celebration called Bruma.
The universal theme remains the same whatever faith or country one belongs to. It is the ardent universal hope that the coming year will be better than the one gone by. The wish is backed by resolve to do whatever it takes to achieve one’s definition of better, hence the ubiquitous New Year’s Resolutions.