Posts from Christmas

A Taste Of Christmas

This is the first Christmas I've spent in the US in eleven years. I wrote a bit about our family's Christmas journey three years ago. We took a break from our annual year end family travel adventure to break in a ski house we bought this spring. The snow isn't great but we've got ten people here, a fire burning, and a Christmas tree up (the first one we've put up in a while).

I must say I've enjoyed getting a taste of Christmas after a self imposed fast. We did a "secret santa" instead of everyone getting presents for everyone. That worked out great. The Gotham Gal prepared a traditional Christmas feast last night. We've had Zooey and Matt's holiday record on repeat play. And we played games together untl late in the evening.

Regular readers know I'm not a believer of any religion. But I am a fan of the traditions and celebrations that come with religion. I enjoy sitting through a passover seder and I certainly enjoy the year end holiday traditions that come with the Christmas season. Anything that can get people together, talking, laughing, and just hanging out together is a great thing.

So whatever faith or non-faith that you subscribe to, I wish you a warm and loving year end holiday.

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Swimming In The Cross Currents Of Religion

Western wall It's Christmas Eve, Friday Prayers, and Shabbat all on a single day today in Jerusalem. And I'm here with our family to soak it all in. We spent the day in and around the Old City and it was a special experience.

I'm not much for organized religion. I was raised a Catholic and we have raised our family Jewish. I'm not a believer but I do have an appreciation for the practice of religion. I've witnessed the joy and solace that my mom's faith gives her every day. And I've experienced the pride of watching my three children reading from the torah on their bar and bat mitzvahs. And I've seen the comfort that rabbis and priests have given to greiving families in their moments of pain and suffering. I understand and appreciate the role of religion in the world and am thankful for all the good it does for so many. I also abhor all the bad it does in so many places.

We got a tour of the Old City last night from a wonderful guide who was deeply spritual and he said this about religion, "it is the practice that counts, not how they practice." I buy into that line of thinking and am still trying to figure out how I practice. Writing every day is certainly part of my practice. But not all of it.

Although Jerusalem is certainly the place that comes to mind when one thinks of a religious melting pot, living in New York City has done a lot to introduce me to many forms of religion. The Muslims we met in Egypt and Jordan and their culture and dress and food are familiar to me because of their brethren in NYC. The orthodox Jews that are all over Jerusalem and their culture and dress and food are familiar to me because of their brethren in NYC. And we also get to experience all that Hinduism offers to the world in NYC.

I enjoy swimming in the cross currents of religion. I don't buy into any one orthodoxy. In fact I think ortohodoxy is dangerous. But I have taken particular note of certain aspects of each of the religions I have come into contact with and appreciate them and maybe even practice them from time to time.

So I found today in Jerusalem very moving and enjoyed it very much.

Merry Christmas to everyone who will be celebrating Christmas tonight and tomorrow, including my mom, dad, and brothers and their family.


Merry Christmas Everyone

Avc santa I'm taking the day off from blogging. I'll be back tomorrow and for the next few days with my top music picks of 2009 and the decade. 

Tech/venture/startup posts should return early next week.

Merry christmas to everyone!

For those who want to know where the santa-ized avatar came from, I logged into Tumblr today and there it was. Thanks Tumblr team. I love it.

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