It was within the encounters with the Europeans that the method of celebrating Christmas was accepted by Native Americans. Christmas provides hope for all those that are oppressed. It provides an opportunity to believe is someone greater than you. Native Americans seek both truth and faith and have always been people of belief in the physical and the spiritual. So, for that reason the belief in a savior’s birth was not difficult to grasp and accept.
During this Christmas season a focus on hope is important with gift giving a natural extension of that hope. When a Native looks to a brighter tomorrow, he knows that as he gives to others hope confirms that others will give unto him. In the Cherokee tradition when a gift is received it must be placed on a table in their home and others that enter into their house can take that gift if they so desire. It is in this tradition that possessions are accepted as temporary and only as important as they meet the needs of others.
Written by Cherokee Cloud
Posted December 26, 2006