Most of the time when you ask someone about Christmas, they like to reply “I’m ready for it to be over”.
But, not me. I love Christmas.
I love the crisp, cold nights. The decorations. The songs. The spirit.
My 4 yr old searching for that stupid elf with eyes wide, full of wonder and joy.
Christmas brings a feeling of newness and rebirth. Mystery and magic. Excited children everywhere.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Miracle on 34th Street. I’ve probably watched that movie more than any other movie. I have watched it almost every year since I was a kid.
It’s a story about faith. Not what some would call religious faith, but faith in other people. The risk of faith. The risk of putting yourself out there.
Of course, not all of Christmas is silver and gold. It’s not all perfect.
It’s interesting to me that even at the time of that movie (1947), Christmas had taken on a sinister side. Commercialism had already creeped up and sunk it’s teeth in.
I think this line from the movie says it best:
“Yeah, there’s a lot of bad ‘isms’ floatin’ around this world, but one of the worst is commercialism. Make a buck, make a buck. Even in Brooklyn it’s the same – don’t care what Christmas stands for, just make a buck, make a buck.”
A lot of us have become skeptical over the years. A certain bah-humbag infiltrates us.
I love watching my kids open gifts.
But I hate the “necessity” of giving gifts.
I hate the fact that some people go into debt just to “have Christmas”.
I am not going to get bogged down into a bunch of negatives about this. We all know the truth. We know what Christmas is and what it isn’t. We know what it has become.
I am not one of those folks that gets upset because someone says happy holidays. I don’t care what Starbucks puts on its cups. I don’t care if a town puts up a manger scene on its court square or not. I don’t care if you are merely celebrating the winter solstice.
I like to see the big picture. I like to keep the main thing, the main thing. I don’t want to get lost in the details, forest for the trees and such.
In other words, I don’t really concern myself with how others celebrate Christmas.
But the meaning of Christmas is something else entirely. It is an essence of the spirit. Much like a gift: something given and something taken.
Like children, we can be filled with wonder. Like shepherds, filled with fear.
And for my friends the skeptics, the agnostics, the atheists. I hear you. I understand your questions. I understand your desire for clarity. I know you want the truth.
But, imagine for me if you will. Picture a world full of hope and full of promise, and in this world a light shines in the darkness.
For unto this world, a child was born.