Christmas is the season of charity
It is true that the real meaning of Christmas transcends its religious connotations, its symbols, the gifts underneath decorative trees, glimmering red bulbs hanging from the branches, Christmas cards, the snow, turkey dinners and street orchestras playing and singing Christmas carols.
Christmas is a charitable event, it offers us the chance to donate money to the less fortunate around the world - those who are experiencing the ravages of war, grinding destitution and political, economic, social, environmental and religious upheavals.
Then there are also those suffering the wrath of floods, hurricanes, mud slides, sand storms, terrorism and climate change.
For many Christmas will be a distant dream, and turkey dinners may be only a wishful thought - not a reality. That's why Christmas can be a catalyst for hope, healing, social cohesion, cultural strength and religious vigour.
So, let us all celebrate the birth of Jesus, and invoke his passion in each one of us. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
DR MUNJED FARID AL QUTOB