I'm not even going to gripe about how Christians lay claim to a seasonal event that is more pagan in nature, or how all of the factors above seem to conspire to mask what I think could be a really excellent holiday.
Because you see, it already is an excellent holiday. Finding meaning amid the bustle of this season and the din of conflicting messages is no different than finding meaning at any other time in life, with the exception of a few reminders here and there that may nudge us toward being just a little nicer to each other.
I hope and pray the season finds all of you well, and I wish each of you a healthy helping of joy. With luck, you'll have more than your share, and can spread the excess around a bit.