Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Christmas?

I have heard several couples declare they don't celebrate Valentine's Day. These are loving, well-adjusted couples who give a lot of attention to their relationship and their partners, every day of the year. Valentines Day, in comparison, seems like such a cheap, commercial version of the real thing, that they don't see the point in celebrating it. Sometimes that's how I feel about Christmas.

One day 2000-ish years ago, Jesus Christ was born. He lived a remarkable life, and then he died. Three days later he rose again, and he has profoundly impacted the world and my life ever since. We celebrate him every day. We live life with him every day. So decorating a tree and buying presents for others and stuffing ourselves with treats seems so meaningless in comparison. And so much pointless effort.

Then I think about how I saw Christmas as a kid. The lights, the tree, the mysterious packages, the delectable smells and tastes, all these gave me a sense of greater magic than the things themselves, a belief in miracles, if you will. I want my kids to believe in miracles. I want them to imagine that there is more to life than the mundane rituals of survival and society. Christmas, with all it's trappings, also gave me a sense of belonging, a sweet familiarity of home. Now, a mother myself, can I give my children any less? Although my understanding of Christmas has changed, I need to allow my own children to go through the process themselves, to enjoy the magic, and pursue their own search for the meaning. We each need to own Christmas for ourselves, just as we each need to own Christ.

This year, that's why I'm "doing" Christmas.


  1. Love this! Totally resonates with me. Thanks for the comments on my blog!


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