ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — I want to wish all of the readers of my column a very Merry Christmas.
I look at Christmas as a new beginning, not just the celebration of Christ’s birthday and a trip to the mall. There is nothing wrong with shopping for gifts for your loved ones and putting up a beautiful Christmas tree, but the meaning of the day should go on after the wrapping is in the trash and the tree is on the curb.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim, a Buddhist or an atheist, we should celebrate Christmas as the birth of many wonderful things. Christmas should be the beginning of love, of kindness, of respect and of honor in all of our hearts. We should love all the animals we coexist with and not kill them out of hate, fear or to hang their body parts on our walls for decorations. We were all put on this planet to share its wonders.
We should show kindness to all those who need it, including hungry children, homeless people and other folks less fortunate than we are, as well as to all the animals condemned to death in animal shelters around the country. We should abolish all aspects of animal and human cruelty, particularly those practiced in the name of tradition or entertainment. We should demonstrate respect for our planet by not polluting it with unnecessary toxins.
Finally, we should honor all those who have protected us from our enemies by giving their lives so we may live. Love, kindness, respect and honor are not just Christian values, they are human values and Christmas is the perfect day to start showing the world we are a people who consider all life sacred.
An arachnid Nativity story
This is the legend of the spiders and the Christmas tree.
Long ago, a gentle mother was busily cleaning the house for the most wonderful day of the year: the day on which the Christ Child came to bless the house. Not a speck of dust was left. Even the spiders had been banished from their cozy corner and fled to the farthest corner of the attic. It was Christmas Eve.
The tree was decorated and waiting for the children to see it. But the poor spiders were frantic, for they could not see the tree, nor be present for the Christ Child’s visit. But the oldest and wisest spider suggested that perhaps they could peep through the crack in the door to see him. Silently, they crept out down the stairs and across the floor to wait in the crack in the threshold.
Suddenly, the door opened a wee bit and quickly the spiders scurried into the room. They must see the tree closely, because their eyes weren’t accustomed to the brightness of the room, so they crept all over the tree, over every branch and twig, and saw each of the pretty ornaments. Finally, they were satisfied by the beauty of the tree and left.
But alas! Everywhere they went, they had left their webs, and when the little Christ Child came to bless the house, he was dismayed. He loved the spiders, for they were God’s creatures also, but he knew the mother, who had trimmed the tree, wouldn’t feel the same, so he touched the webs and they all turned to sparkling, shimmering silver and gold!
Ever since that time, we have hung tinsel on our Christmas trees, and according to the legend, it is considered good luck to find a spider among the decorations on the tree.