So, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. I’d be happy to skip it altogether. I just don’t see the point to trees and decorations and presents and all the holiday/Christmas crap. I don’t see what it has to do with the birth of Jesus, and nowhere in the Bible does it say that we have to celebrate Jesus’ birth. That being said, it doesn’t say that we can’t celebrate it, either, and I think it is a good thing to, once a year, remember that, after being foretold since the fall of man, our Saviour came to Earth as a human, was born in a stable, had a feeding trough for a bassinet, and was on the run with his parents because someone was trying to kill him. And that He did this because he loves us. He didn’t even have matching nursery decor!
Although, speaking of decor, Christmas lights do brighten up the short, dreary winter days. I’ll give them that.
I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to be in Mary’s shoes. To be an unwed pregnant lady back then; to have it basically forced on you, like, hey! you’re going to be pregnant and you’re going to have to deal with the consequences, even though you had no choice in the matter. I don’t know that my attitude would have been as good as Mary’s was. “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38) Uh, no, thank you. Obviously, my faith is not as strong as Mary’s was. And Joseph, here! your fiancee is pregnant, and obviously the baby is not yours because you haven’t slept with Mary, but everyone’s going to think you did. Have fun with that! His faith was much stronger than mine, too.
Also, Christmas seems to be a much bigger deal than Easter, and Christians are called to celebrate/remember Easter. It is the cornerstone of our faith. Without Easter, we’d still be Jews. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being Jewish, that is not my point.)(Jesus was a Jew.) My point is that without Easter, there would be no Christians. I know that Christmas had to happen or there would be no Easter, but Christ didn’t come to earth just to be born. He had a purpose beyond that. And yet, the world makes Christmas a much bigger deal.
I think that another reason I don’t like Christmas is that it’s nothing like it was when I was a kid. My childhood Christmas memories include being in Telkwa, caroling with my Opa, Uncle Leroy pulling us on sleds/tubes behind a snowmobile, horse-drawn sleigh rides, lots of cousins, opening all our presents on Christmas Eve after the Christmas Eve service, a huge Christmas Dinner at Midway with family and not-family-but-like-family, above -20°C/-4°F temperatures, and tubalooping.
What is tubalooping? This is tubalooping:
We even had a song about tubalooping to the tune of Yellow Submarine.
We can’t tubaloop here. For one thing, we don’t have any tubaloops (although I’m sure we could find some). For another, we don’t have any big hills. And for another, it’s too cold to be outside for that long. I really should try to take the kids sledding at least once over the Christmas break, though. We have a (small) hill just down the street.
Now, I’m not saying that our Christmases here in Saskatoon suck, because they do not. I think a big part of it is not being a kid anymore. I’m 100% convinced that Christmas is much funner when you are a kid, and this just means that I have to make it super-awesome for my kids. This is Preston’s first Christmas where he’ll know what’s going on. He’ll discover what opening gifts is all about, and maybe he’ll even know where to find the nuts & bolts in Miss Sue’s pantry (long story).
I know that this time of year is hard for a lot of people, like those who have lost loved ones this past year, or during past Christmases. At a time when “it’s all about being with your family”, lots of people don’t have families. Lots of people don’t have homes. Lots of people are getting presents from no one. Lots of parents can’t afford gifts for their kids. Lots of people feel so, so lonely, and Christmas is the absolute worst time of year for them. I volunteer with some such ladies, and I have no idea what to do for them to make this time of year better. I hate seeing people hurting, especially at a time of year that is supposed to be about joy, hope, and peace.
Also, I should admit, I quite enjoy gift-giving. In years past it’s been really hard, what with our budget being so tight, especially our first year in Saskatoon, the year I was pregnant with Preston and Noah was off work with a back injury. We were living on about $100/month for groceries, and Christmas presents were a huge burden. Somehow we squeaked by, but only because both our families do Secret Santa/choose names and spoil our children, therefore making Christmas more affordable. It was hard, but we are better for that time. We know what it’s like to have very little, and I’m thankful for that. This year we’re not exactly wealthy, but we’re at a much better place. One where we don’t have to ask ourselves, What bills aren’t getting paid so that we can do this gift-giving thing? It’s a relief.
But, right. I was talking about gift-giving. Giving gifts to kids has got to be the funnest thing ever, especially with young kids. The excitement and enthusiasm just can’t be duplicated. Buying for my kids and my nieces and nephew is the best part of Christmas shopping.
So, I guess there are some things I like about Christmas. Although, I should tell you, my favourite thing about Christmas? Is taking down the decorations on Boxing Day.