A Christmas Message from Maggie Gallagher

“What’s your favorite Christmas song?”  my sister, who is not a Christian, asked me.

Christmas was always and extraordinarily joyous season in my home growing up, even after my mother left the Catholic faith and my father drifted in that direction.

I revel in all that some deride as excessively pagan trappings of the season: glittery Christmas wrapping paper, butter cookies, red-nosed reindeers, a riot of Christmas lights!

“But what does it all mean to you without Christ?” my high school boyfriend, a Baptist convert asked me back then and I spontaneously broke out into a chorus of “city sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style, in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas!”

I couldn’t understand my faithful boyfriend’s puzzlement, back in my atheist days. I only knew, then, that even people without an explicit faith can sense the sacred and rejoice in it.

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