As a young child who regularly attended church and was in a private Christian school for 10 years, I quickly learned of the meaning of Christmas. Jesus’s birth didn’t matter to me as a kid. I didn’t care much for Santa Claus either though. I was much more gift centered than fictional character oriented. I enjoyed giving and receiving presents. As I have aged, I still enjoy giving gifts. However, the 25 days of Christmas cheesiness and fluff, turns me off to the whole month of December. I wonder if that is the reason I don’t care for Christmas as an adult.
The tree is hung in our living room, lights hang beautifully on all the houses in the neighborhood, and I could care less. The “Christmas spirit” that infiltrates a mixed religious culture has not fallen upon me. I can barely muster up a, ho, ho, ho, for the sake of my kids. I thought it was because I missed my family – to some extent I wish to be with them – but I don’t think it is that.
My dislike of this time of year comes from a hypocrisy in my faith and in our society. I will probably never teach my kids about Santa Claus. I will tell them the story of Saint Nicholas (whenever I learn it myself), but the Frosty the Snowman, Santa, Rudolf story line will never exist. If anything I will have them watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. I don’t agree with bending my beliefs to sooth the tensions between the majority culture. Christmas is in fact a Christian holiday, that was surrendered to a capitalistic society to be pimped into a fictional story line relating nothing back to the intentional purpose of Christmas, which will always be Jesus.
I’m sure this makes me sound like an extremist, but today at church we worshiped to Christmas carols
O come, O come, Emmanuel. And ransom captive Israel That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.
and I just felt so appreciative of this time. Christmas was God with us. Tuesday morning, I will come down the stairs to 4 kids who are ready to shred their gifts open, but for a quiet moment I will sit in my room contemplating Christ’s arrival.
Amen and Amen.