December 22, 2009

Engaged Buddhist Christmas

Here’s a thought for an engaged Buddhist Christmas. Many people who convert to Buddhism may feel that they need to do something special for the holiday season. Say, wringing out all the Christian aspects of Christmas and then sprinkling some Buddhist pixie dust over what’s left. My family secretly aspires to celebrate Christmas the way the Jews do. There are several popularized ways that Jews celebrate Christmas in North America, but we frequently talk about the Chinese food and movie version—we’ve just never actually gotten around to it. My favorite way to celebrate Christmas is to volunteer at a meal center. (Credit for this family tradition goes to my mom.) It may be too late for most readers to sign up to volunteer—but this time of the year is perfect for Buddhists, especially Buddhists in the West, to celebrate the season through service to others. It’s a good way to spend your time even when it’s not a holiday. Just a thought.

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