Christmas is the numbing season. There are the ceaseless rounds of Christmas parties, each requiring preparation of food and gift-buying, each surfeited with expectations of obligatory Christmas cheer. There is the flood of commerce, requiring a careful parsing of which are the newest and most "necessary" toys or clothes for children and grandchildren. There are the travel and the visits to family, spiked with all the stresses attendant upon such en­deavors. Finally (and almost as an afterthought), there are added church responsibilities of nativity programs, Christ­mas Eve services and so forth. No wonder many of us are likely to dread Christ­mas al­most as much as we look forward to it.

Strangely, Christmas in our culture seems to have become the high holiday of Pel­agian­ism. It brings in its tow so many responsibilities. And that includes the responsibility of salvation—if not for ourselves, then at least for the holiday itself. Each year, every year, we want the perfect Christmas, and we will be damned if we do not achieve it.

I have the cure for the Christmas blues. It is called Easter.