By Darryl James
Recently, I’ve been hearing Christians complain that Jesus is being taken out of Christmas because some people like to refer to the holiday as Xmas.
The funny part of it all to me is that these ignorant Christians have no idea that it Jesus was forced into the holiday to begin with.
The same Christians who complain that Jesus is being taken out of Christmas also celebrate the Yuletide season, without knowing where the Yule logs or anything else came from.
The original Pagan Yule holiday was a 12 day celebration of sacrifice and worship of the god Yule. Over a 12 day period, worshippers would make blood sacrifices in fire to Yule and burn a huge log—a Yule log. Sometimes those blood sacrifices were human!
The Roman Catholic church wanted to reform as many people as possible and have them join the church so Pagan rituals were massaged and added to Christian tradition.
The church took the 12 day celebration of Yule and began it on December 25th, claiming that day as the birth of Christ. The 12th day, January 6th, was proclaimed “Epiphany,” the day the Three Wise Men came to visit the baby Jesus.
That gift of knowledge should really give new meaning to the song “The 12 Days of Christmas.”
The economy is in the toilet, people are losing their homes and jobs and yet, some of us are still shopping until we drop.
Now that you have spent next month’s earnings of gifts that will last a few weeks, it’s time to focus on gifts that will keep on giving.
There are a few things that Blacks can give to themselves, which will continue to give throughout the year, making us a stronger, more unified and powerful people.
In another Black Top Ten List, I’d like to propose some things that Black people can give themselves for Christmas or for Kwanzaa. Some of these gifts are reflective of the Nguzo Saba—the seven principles of Kwanzaa.
Top Ten Christmas Gifts Blacks Can Give Themselves:
1 A Black Women’s Rights Movement. My sisters, the women’s rights movement duped you into thinking that it was for you, but it was not. It was for white women and you were pimped. If you want a real revolution, create a Black Women’s Rights Movement and many of your brothers will be first in line. Black women have been speaking about their rights and talking about Black men as their oppressors, which is ridiculous. Oppression is a product of power, and quite frankly, Black people in this nation have not exercised power in any intrinsic manner since the 1960’s. Let’s exercise our creativity (Kuumba) and create something that will benefit us all.
2 A Million Man Investment Club. Following the lead of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan I propose we bring one million Black men together to invest ten dollars each in one company. It’s too easy to do. That’s ten million dollars and that is empowerment and reflective of Ujamaa (cooperative economics).
3 Black Love. We hear the song “Give Love On Christmas Day,” and we like it, so why not give that love to ourselves as a people? Tell someone you love them and then turn around and show someone that you love them. Finally, look for ways each day to demonstrate your love for yourself as a Black person. For a list of things to love about us, refer to my column called “Thanks For Being Black,” which lists the Top Ten Things To Love About Being Black (www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com).
4 Black Pride. There is no reason why we should have disparaging images of us in film and on television in 2011, but yet, many Blacks defend the images whether they come from white racists or Black self-hating sellouts. If we exercised more pride in ourselves, these images would be impossible to endure. There are a plethora of things to be proud of as a member of the most oppressed race in the world, and we need to focus on those things every day to spread the feeling of pride that will allow us to move forward in the new millennium with faith in ourselves, reflective of Imani (Faith).
5 Black Unity. How can any of us progress and feel good about it, when so many of us are not progressing? Our gift to ourselves should be to care for the least of us, so that we can all move onward and upward together. This is reflective of Umoja (Unity).
6 Peace in the streets. There are many brothers in the streets working for peace among the warring gang factions across the nation and they need the support of the entire community. You can talk about how bad it is in the streets, or you can find out what you need to do to make it better. I don’t want to talk about peace in the Middle East until there is peace in the Black community. Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.
7 Self-Awareness. My gift to my people would be to make them aware of the most critical issues facing us, and then to focus on those things without being confused by politics of religion, class, sex or political parties. I would also give them the gift of history, so that we could remain mindful of whence we came. If you know where you came from, you can more easily determine where you are going. This is reflective of Kujichagulia (Self-Determination).
8 Mutual Support. As a people, we have everything we need to manufacture, distribute, buy and sell the goods and services we seek from others. If each of us supports another of us, we can begin to recycle Black dollars and resources more productively. This can be done in the spirit of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility).
9 A good conversation. Many of us just need someone to talk to who will listen and understand. Let’s stop talking at or about each other and start talking to each other.
10 A collective consciousness. Today, many of us scoff at the idea of most of us coming together for common purposes (Nia), but no matter what the socio-economic differences, we are still all the same people with the same challenges and the same work lying before us. This is also reflective of Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility.
So, this holiday season, instead of wishing for expensive material items, let’s all wish for and give gifts that will continue to keep giving long after these current lives are over.
Darryl James is an award-winning author of the powerful new anthology “Notes From The Edge.” James’ stage play, “Love In A Day,” opened in Los Angeles this Spring and will be running throughout 2011. View previous installments of this column at http://www.bridgecolumn.proboards36.com. Reach James at firstname.lastname@example.org.