Do you sometimes see your blog as a grownup version of Show-and-Tell? I admit that when I first sat down to write this post, I thought about itemizing my Santa gifts, bemoaning my questionable culinary efforts, and kvelling about my family. Isn’t that what we all used to do when we were children, once school reconvened after the holidays? But since you’re adults now and are likely busy with your own holiday happiness and mishegas, I’ll instead share a short post about one of my all-time favorite holiday songs, written and sung by John Lennon.
Originally sung as a protest to the Vietnam war, the lyrics seem especially relevant today. In 1969, Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, spread this anti-war sentiment via rented billboards and posters they strategically placed in eleven major cities around the world. The message: “WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) Happy Christmas” resonated with millions of war-weary individuals who found themselves increasingly angry about our involvement in the Vietnam War. Eventually, the words found their way into a holiday recording, which has been remixed by several musical groups. (Source: Wikipedia)
My favorite line, “War is over/If you want it/War is over/Now!” speaks to the power of intention. The background vocals (credit: the Harlem Boys’ choir) symbolically represent the idea that we must speak out as a chorus rather than as individuals, to be sure our voices are heard. However, the deceptively simple lyrics gloss over the fact that peace is a hard-won battle. If we truly want an end to war, we must work together — regardless of our individual heritage, religion, or political affiliations — to make that goal a reality.
Let there be peace on Earth in the New Year, and let it begin with us.
UPDATE: It seems the war merchants who brought you the mythical War on Christmas are now turning a tidy profit. Anyone remember the story about the young Jesus, who overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves in the Temple? Therein lies an example of how we might choose to be less passive in our pursuit of real peace.