Scottie holiday love and joy
Last updated 11/22/2022 at Noon
A magical fall with warm, sunny days soon crashed into early winter just after Halloween. I heard people start to grumble that it was too cold, but the Scotties rejoiced that their weather had finally arrived.
Each morning they started running outside to roll in either ice or snow as they sang a Scottie version of “Joy to the World.” It marked the start of the best time of year for Scotties in the Nave household.
Christmastime means delicious roasted turkey, buttery, raw piecrust crumbs, and an occasional lick of eggnog for the Scotties. But best of all are lots of visitors and Christmas stockings hung by the fire.
Years ago, our little rescued Scottie, Lola, who became a character in my “Harry and Lola Adventures” series of illustrated books, would sit on the fireplace hearth guarding the stockings from any other Scottie. She’d stay there for a long time each day, until the stockings were finally filled. Then she would pace in excitement until they were taken down to be given to the Scotties on Christmas morning.
Ten minutes or so of pandemonium would follow the distribution of gifts and snacks. It was as much fun for the people as it was for the Scotties. That’s why we still do it every year. The Christmas season means love and joy in our house.
Christmastime and the holiday season have changed a lot in my nearly seven and a half decades on this earth. Many other cultures now want their chance to bring their traditions forward during this season. Of course, this is not really the time of year during which Jesus was born. This date was adopted by the Catholic Church because it was already a long-standing time of celebration in many cultures.
That fact simply amplifies the concept that a winter holiday is far older than Christianity, and widespread throughout nearly every culture.
If we look at many of these celebrations, they embrace many of the values of the Christian observance. The foundation of this holiday in Western culture is the birth of a baby named Jesus. This baby grew into the man who introduced a fearful and subjugated world to a radical new concept. He told people that they didn’t have to spend their lives shrouded in fear. He said that their Creator was love, and if they embraced that love they would be free of fear and be able to prosper.
Many of the winter celebrations embrace love as their central theme.
If you listen closely to the teachings of Jesus, you will see that he said God is love. Not God loves, but God is love. Therefore, when anyone celebrates love, they are embracing the Creator of the universe. Any follower of Jesus should celebrate that love with everyone.
Even many scientists, going as far back as the mathematician Albert Einstein, have recognized that once science digs deep enough into the elements that make up our world, they will eventually find an intelligence behind its creation. And that intelligence has to be benevolent and filled with love, or everything would have smashed and killed itself off soon after creation. Thus God the Creator is love!
Jesus taught that each of us has two powerful forces inside of our mind. The higher mind is divine spirit, the limitless power of our Creator’s love. With love we find strength, forgiveness — for ourselves and others — joy, and peace. The lower mind is the human-made ego running on fear, which engenders anger, jealousies, greed, guilt, attack, and depression. He said we have a free choice when choosing which road we want to take, fear or love. Ultimately the holiday season, whether Christian or otherwise, is a celebration of love, and we all need to remember that love is the secret to a good life and take that love with us all year through.
Jesus came to tell us not to be afraid. The God of Adam and Eve, who gave them everything they needed, is still our loving God. Most of us have allowed ourselves to be subjugated by “Adam’s fear,” separating us from God’s powerful love. We can change that. Fear is a choice. Love is a choice. They are both inside of us. We choose which one rules our lives. We can choose to change if fear has been the driving force.
I’ve addressed the issue of habits before in this column. Habits are powerful. They live in our subconscious. We spend a lot of time on autopilot, which means our subconscious minds run most of our lives. If fear has been the main driver, we have made many fear-based decisions, limiting our ability to be the best and happiest we can be.
The good news is that we can change that today. It takes work, because habits take time to change. But if we start now during this holiday season, we can build new lives filled with love and appreciation for all people, no matter how they celebrate the holiday season.
We can thrive in this complex world of many cultures and beliefs when we embrace love and banish fear.
We can embrace all people when we are filled with love, the gift that came with the birth of Jesus. Or we can be controlled by fear. Choose love, forgiveness, caring, and helping; and may your holiday season be filled with peace and joy.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” — Romans 15:13