"I am so confused." I told Mr. B. tonight after he came back from dinner with a small group of friends to celebrate Christmas Eve. "I just read that Jesus was not actually born on the 25th of December."
"Yeah? What else have you read?" he asked.
"That his real birth date should have been spring or summer, and that the commemoration was moved to replace an ancient Roman festival."
"You probably also read about a lot of conflicting stories, too."
"Yes. Theologians, scholars, historians all have different views and opinions about it - the time, the place, the entire circumstance of Jesus' birth. Do you know which one to believe in?" I inquired.
"No, I don't know." Mr. B. answered. "I don't have to know and I don't think anyone will ever know what the real story was."
"Then why is everyone partying tonight?" I got even more confused. "Why are they celebrating something they don't fully understand?"
"A lot of people don't understand. They don't get it."
"I don't get it too, Mr. B." I said.
"All I know is this - Jesus was born. In his lifetime, he preached about love. In his death, his message spread across the earth. Does it really matter what those theologians, scholars and historians say? The most important thing is the message he bought to the world. The message of love and peace. The exact date of his birth doesn't matter. What matters is that humans decided to pick one day in a year to celebrate his birth, to commemorate the wondrous message he brought."
"So it's not about party and food? and gifts? and snow? and Santa and his reindeers?"
"Never. It has always been about his message. If the world, or at least part of the world can come together for just one day in a year to live Jesus' message of loving and caring and reaching out to others, isn't that great enough? Wouldn't it be a better world? Even for just a day? " he explained.
"I see. Can I say happy birthday to him today?"
"Today is as good as any other day, as long as you remember him and what he stood for."
"I understand now, Mr. B. Can I light the candle in our Nativity this year?"