Column: Narnia’ should serve as reminder

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 15, 2005

Love Cruikshank, Love notes

Last week was an eventful one. On Dec. 6, the Washington Ave. Writers had supper at the Pizza Hut, marking their fourth anniversary.

The group was started in September 2001. It meets, except during the holiday season, every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at my house, 909 S. Washington Ave.

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There are no officers, no by-laws, no dues. The only requirement is that after the first meeting the member must have some original work to read to the group or pay a fine of 25 cents. The writing is not assigned but is the choice of the writer. The next meeting will be on Jan. 3.

Christmas is less than two weeks away as I write this. I’m still loping after it in the spirit of desperation. One thing about Christmas that I’ve always loved is its stand on behalf of peace.

“Peace be to the world and joy to all mankind.”

It puzzles me that those who do the most talking about their Christian faith seem not to have grasped its teachings. I’m not talking about the war in Iraq now. I’m talking about those courageous defenders of the faith who are raising conflict about “Christmas tree&8221; versus “Holiday tree.”

The winter solstice has been celebrated many places by many people. I believe it was the Druids who gave us the tree touch. Christians didn’t celebrate Christmas until around the fourth century and the church fathers, including St. Jerome, opposed it.

If you find yourself throwing hissy-fits concerning the Christmas/holiday tree, you’re barking (no pun intended) up the wrong tree. The Christian faith is not complicated. You are asked to love God (Good) and your neighborhood.

I find nothing in Scripture about celebrating a solstice. Christmas is a holiday that stands for a beautiful and, for Christians, solemn event. It brings much joy to many people and we have every respect for the day. But it is most inappropriate to use it as a basis for telling others how they are to celebrate it or not celebrate it.

Years ago, when I, for a time, edited the church page I was trying to get a photo of children celebrating the day. One church wanted to get a group of children surrounding Santa Claus.

When I explained that since I wanted illustrations for the church page I preferred something more religious, I was told in no uncertain terms that I was encouraging hypocrisy in children. We didn’t use a photo from that church.

There is no known date for the birth of Jesus. I can’t help wishing his birthday were celebrated in warmer weather. On the other hand, Christmas is probably a courageous festival to break the long cold winter.

Remember what a dismal place Narnia was under the spell of the evil witch, when she made sure that it was “always winter and never Christmas.&8221;

(Love Cruikshank is an Albert Lea resident. Her column runs Thursday.)