despite my own long-time reservations about the practice of Christianity, I can't help liking Christmas. At least it's one day where you can wish someone "peace on earth" and not feel like a flake. I love it that a whole group of cynics can get together and sing about "goodwill to all" till we all almost cry. It makes me wish there were more Christmases. Which is why the idea of the Second Coming is so appealing. If Jesus does come back and if he's born - let's say on Boxing Day, the 26th, then we could have a double Christmas. Hallelujah! My suspicion, though, is that it will take more than just two incarnations to accomplish the goals of peace and sharing for all peoples that I believe were in Christ's heart.
So that leads to maybe avatar three, the Third Coming, which if it could occur on the 27th gets us a holiday long weekend. I think you can see where I'm going with this - 364 Christs later, wham, Christmas every day. A world of gifts, carols and feasting.
Of course, at the present rate, that many comings could take an extremely long time, but really there's nothing to say Christs need be consecutive. Maybe instead of waiting 364 generations, we could have multiple, synchronous and cooperative Christs come to earth all at once. God knows the world needs a lot of saving immediately.
And of course, there's nothing to say that all these avatars need be men ! In fact, shouldn't Christ Two be a Christina? Aren't women holy, too? Now, please, don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting any of these proposed new saviours be crucified or put to death in any way. I'm sure God is not so literal about "sacrifice" as some of his more sanguine zealots would have us believe.
In our culture there's so much more we could sacrifice other than our literal lives. For instance, our excesses, our needless luxuries, our eco-negative consumptions. And beyond that there are other ways to "give' one's life. For instance, to a cause - the way Mrs. Pankhurst or the Dalai Lama or Martin Luther King did. One can give one's life to song, like Marley; to one's people, like disappeared Colombian activist Kimy Pernia Domico, or to the promotion of human rights, like Nobel Peace Prize winners Shirin Ebadi of Iran and Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma.
The more I look at it this way, the more the literal gift culture of the current Christmas starts to look like a mystical teaching seed, a primer for the greater giving people of all faiths (and no faith) must eventually learn to do if the world is to survive.
Which makes me think that in some ways we are all Christs (and Christinas) in the making. And every birth is miraculous. And every day is a holy day. And if not, as we "atheists" say, Merry Christmas anyway.