Northern Exposure Christmas Message

One of my favorite all time TV shows was Northern Exposure, and on that show, in one episode, came the best Christmas story and the most inclusive tidings of comfort and joy I have ever heard. It deserves to be repeated – and repeated – and repeated.

Chris, the local DJ, known for his love of Whitman, is on the radio one Christmas and shares this brief, but beautiful story of Christmas.

It’s an old legend, that on Christmas Eve at midnight, all the animals fall on their knees and speak — praising the new born Jesus.

Back in the winter of ’69, my Dad was doing a short term for D and D. Mom was — I’m not sure where Mom was. Anyway, I was home alone on Christmas Eve and I stayed up late to see if my dog, Buddy, would talk. He did — at least I think he did. I don’t remember Buster’s exact words, but that’s not important. What matters is that a seven-year-old boy experienced his own personal epiphany.

My point? It’s that Christmas reveals itself to each of us in a personal way — be it secular or sacred. Whatever Christmas is — and it’s many things to many people — we all own a piece of it. Kinda like Santa’s bag, inside there’s gift for everyone.

My Christmas wish for you tonight — may your dog talk.

That’s the great thing about Christmas. The origins of this holiday season rest firmly in ancient, pre-Christian, pre-Church feelings about the longest darkest day of the year. It is no great secret that virtually all of our Christmas traditions and customs are not rooted in anything Biblical.

The birth of Jesus is but one of the many “reasons for the season.” Christmas does not belong to any one group, faith, tradition, or religion. Christmas is one of the more inclusive and malleable holidays to ever exist. We build our own meanings for the holiday, for the season.

Pagan or Christian, Jew or Gentile, atheist or faithful, we are all part of this most wonderful time of the year, and we all bring our own customs and traditions to the table. We should all take a taste of what the other brings.

 

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