The last light in the Nativity Scene has been turned on. The room is dimly lit. Blue and yellow sparkles glitter in the building’s windows. There’s just the reflection of a silver foil river, which runs through the fields, and the light in the barn, which shines on a still empty white manger. There is a pile of gifts and bags of food in the parish, which the needy will welcome with grateful tears, and there is a destitute child crying with joy in some hospital upon receiving the surprise performance of his favorite artist. There is magical light in the stars, there is special warmth in the hugs, there is unprecedented brightness in the gazes. It is the Holy Waiting. The Christ Child is going to be born. And the world will never be the same again. Like us, we will never be the same.
Every year, Christmas is a hopeful reminder: hatred has lost, division has failed, evil does not have the last word. In these days, when nations seem torn in half, when politics is a dumping ground for evil, and when culture seems to have forgotten its old purpose of discovering beauty, the family Christmas dinner confirms that we live only in a horrible, nightmarish mirage. Evil seems so strong, powerful, and muscular until the Child God appears, then it melts, fades, and dissipates. And of course, unity, love, good, and beauty triumph.
These days are for looking at children and listening to the elderly. Days of charity. Days to smile. Days of hugging. Days to pray in front of the Nativity Scene some of the prayers we learned as children. And to take care of the eldest in the family. It is the grandparents who have passed on to us the legacy of this blessed Christian tradition. It is they, those who may not be around next Christmas, to whom we owe gratitude and affection. How important are these days to teach grandchildren to spend a lot of time with grandparents, to hold on to their wrinkled hands as they walk the streets dressed up in lights, trees, and garlands, to cherish every second with them, and to know how to listen to the old stories that they sometimes amusingly repeat over and over again.
Let us not forget to make an effort to draw close to the love and charity of those who do not have the gift of faith. There are those who, even when far from God, experience a special grace during these holy days. They speak of the magic of Christmas, of love among people of goodwill, of the beauty of this tradition, or of how much they are touched by the generosity of so many people who participate in charitable enterprises during this time. It is possible that their Christmas may seem frivolous, consumerist, or empty, that their magic sounds more like esotericism than faith, but everything adds up if it goes toward making the celebration of the Birth of the Child God ever grander, and who knows if the Holy Spirit is not waiting for them tonight, on the other side of their magic, their good wishes, and their awkward Christmas sentiments.
This is the festival that raises all the flags that this corrupt century is trying to destroy: fraternity, forgiveness, family, faith, and tradition. All this is what Christmas represents, what the Child achieves in an instant when he appears on the 25th in a lowly manger in Bethlehem. That is why Christmas is hope, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Because no matter how much effort has been made to destroy everything beautiful on Earth, at least one day a year, there is a truce, like that of the combatants in their trenches in 1914 that made the world weep with emotion, in the middle of the First World War.
May the arrival of the Christ Child brighten your lives and fill us all with peace, humor, and freedom, and my best wishes for 2023. My dear readers of The American Spectator: Merry Christmas to you and to all your families.