A few years ago I was asked to oversee the annual office Secret Santa sign-up. In an effort to breathe new life into an old tradition I penned the name “Chrismakuwanzawalidan” — a mash-up name of the major religions in my area. It was meant to be a temporary bit of silliness but the name has stuck.
And, it has begun to mean more and more to me.
First, let me say I am a Christian. And, I have no intention of changing. I believe that the birth of this child is a historical fact, as well as, a religious one. I also believe this child grew to be the Jesus of Nazareth who is the main focal point of my religion.
Jesus IS the reason for this holiday season . . . BUT not everyone follows this Jesus. Some are even afraid of this Jesus, or angry with this Jesus. (Christians have done a piss-poor job of mirroring Jesus’ love at times. Haven’t they? But, that is an argument for another time.)
This holiday is meant to be one of joy and fellowship and celebration. And everyone deserves to be included in that, no matter their faith. Jesus’ central mandate is to LOVE one another. Remember?
So, with my slightly off-kilter sense of humor I christened myself, the Chrismakuwanzawalidan elf.
This crazy-to-pronounce name (you should hear us in the office trying to say it) is a silly but constant reminder to include everyone.
It doesn’t matter to me, and I hope it doesn’t matter to you, what name of God we bend a knee to. I do not intend to lecture, or judge, or evangelize. I will say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” and mean it with no other agenda other than holiday cheer.
My God is not so rigid that he counts my words. He is not concerned with politically correct language. My God only cares about the intent of my heart. Some will say “words matter” and to a degree that is so. Let me say it again, my words intend that you feel included in the love of the season.
And, so, . . . “ A Merry Chrismakuwanzawalidan to us all; God bless us, every one!” (I think Tiny Tim would agree.)