***This post could also be called: How Christmas Lost It’s Meaning ~ yeah, that’s how I feel.***
Truth of Christmas Past:
As a child, we did the Christmas ‘thing’ – the tree, the presents, the dress up, the breakfast, the lunch, the dinner. In truth, Christmas was the one day per year we were GUARANTEED to see each other, not work, just spend the time together as a family.
Sounds odd? My family is odd that way. We don’t do vacations, we work. We don’t take public holidays off, those are work days for us. When we aren’t working, we attend events. So just in case you thought “What about Good Friday/Independence/New Years?” understand that we were either working or fulfilling some other obligation.
So the main point of Christmas was to be together with our family.
No, I didn’t believe in Santa Claus – I tried to, but I knew it was a con. No, we weren’t big on the whole Jesus’ birth part of it either – side effect of the Rastafarian influence, Jesus born in Spring. < Yes I can write a whole post on that alone.
As I got older and started to spend my own money for gifts, I really, really got into gift giving. I love giving gifts. I enjoy finding that one thing for someone that they never knew they wanted until they saw it. I enjoyed buying music for someone and highlighting the songs on the album just for them. I enjoy writing a poem, making the artwork and framing it because you smiling means that much to me. I enjoy knowing, that I did something that made you smile.
Yes, I do have an inexplicable need to please. ~ I’m working on that though.
Adulthood Changed Things:
As I got older -and possibly more cynical- the value of Christmas changed. I not only live in the same household, but I also work with the entire brood. We no longer need that separated time to be together, because we do everything together. We sleep in the same house, work in the same office, eat almost all our meals together. That’s a lot of time spent in each others presence. Love it, but we no longer need that special time to see each other and catch up.
I then found a new excuse: Children! Yes, laughter and smiles on children’s faces light up the world and give angels wings. I had nieces, nephews, cousins, and even God-Children. Totalling 15 children under 10 years old, I was excited again. I did the gifts, the tree and even hosted Christmas dinner :) I had a reason for the season all over again.
Now all of my kiddies, have either grown up (teenagers!) or have moved to other countries. So I no longer have an excuse to do any of the things I used to do. No Tree, No Gifts, No Cooking.
So here are the non-emotional reasons for each:
I make dinner for my family too often for it to be special at Christmas and we have other dinners to attend on that day. I also have begun a new tradition: End of Summer Dinner for my closest friends & family.
If we are celebrating it as Jesus’ birthday we then are posed with the question: How do we gift Jesus? Well, He said “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40). So, if we choose to believe it is Jesus’ birthday then we should be doing charity work not creating seasonal gluttony in kids.
The Bible and Pagan history ties putting lights in trees to witchcraft and idol worship, so yeah. That’s not for me.
So do you celebrate? How? What makes Christmas special to you?