As today is Christmas Eve, we have chosen Christmas itself as our story of the week. We thought it would be interesting to look at how different people interpret and celebrate this traditional holiday. Regardless of where you might stand in the spectrum of Christmas viewpoints, AllSides is wishing you and your family a merry holiday season!
Snippets from the Left
Guest Writer
“For some, it's only a matter of jingle bells and the exchange of gifts, perhaps a kiss under the mistletoe…
But those who care about the practice of their faith keep Jesus front and center. His birth and the story that surrounds it is the reason for Christmas, and its message should sing loudly through the season.
Thomas Merton, the poet and Trappist monk, writes memorably about the manger scene in Bethlehem: ‘Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited." It's because of his extreme situation, a newborn on the run, a refugee who must flee with his parents to Egypt to escape persecution and death, that Jesus stands for all political refugees, all those in despair of having a place to lay their head. Jesus is always present with those, as Merton says, ‘for whom there is no room.’”
Snippets from the Right
Fox News
“Sometimes what’s lost in the message that Christmas is about giving and not getting is that we still project the entitlement mentality on the former. We expect a certain reaction, a certain set of warm fuzzies to tickle us all over when we give a present, and the person opening it to light up and showers up with thanks. The homeless women offered her gift, was rejected, and still smiled. She didn’t find her worth in giving. She found it in genuinely caring for the man, which meant she wasn’t crushed when he rejected it.
‘The proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in the state where he no longer needs our gift,’ Lewis writes. ‘The hour when we can say, ‘They need me no longer,’ should be our reward.’
So when you give this Christmas season, don’t give with an expectation that the person receiving has to act a certain way, or that they have to meet a certain threshold of thankfulness. Don’t give because you’re looking to get something out of it. Give out of joy…” 
Snippets from the Center
“Let's rejoice in the eclecticism, I say, and find in the varieties of ways people choose to mark or miss the point of Christmas the universal love that is its message.
Mongrelism is a virtue in a world made dangerous by the pursuit of purity. But I'm not asking for Christmas to be relativised or apologised for. There is too much apologising. When I hear of Christmas being cancelled in order not to offend people of other faiths or no faith, or when someone wishes me "Happy Holidays" or sends me "Season's Greetings" so as not to upset my sensibilities, I am seized with a most un-Christian anger. If you are sparing me, thank you, but it really isn't necessary. A history has accrued to Christmas, a literature of feeling about it, and that is every bit as much my history as anyone else's. And just because I am not religious, doesn't mean I can't peer into religious sentiment with curiosity, affection, and occasionally longing.”