Most of us know the Christmas story. We also experience Christmas in different ways. While it seems a little innocent, here are my confessions of a Christmas Junkie.
Before writing about the wonder of it all, let’s get the obvious out of the way.
Christmas trees have little to do with the historic holiday. Most likely, they were incorporated as Christianity spread throughout Europe. They are pagan symbols. They just are.
Even Christians cannot agree on the correct date. Different orthodox traditions celebrate different dates, and December 25th was probably chosen because it coincides with earlier celebrations of the winter solstice.
Corporations and capitalism have captured the spirit of giving associated with Christmas for monetary gain. In some ways, it is the greediest time of year.
But Wait… There’s More
Here come the confessions of a Christmas junkie. Because that is what I am. I am a Christmas junkie.
Through all of the misdeeds of traditional Christianity. With all of the misuses of power and the obnoxious affiliations with patriotism, there remains this story.
That God could be born into to the world.
Even the Jesus narrative was not the first story of a son of God being born into the world, but it is the one that took off.
To be completely transparent, I love to hear what this story means to ordinary people, and I also like to hear comedians talk about it in non-traditional and critical ways.
The Love of it All
I love the idea of children (of all ages) receiving gifts. Just because.
All of the lights, on trees, on street light poles, and dancing on top of candles, make me glow inside.
There is a general sense in the air at Christmas that something matters more than ourselves, and that is never a bad thing.
People seem a little happier.
With all of the traditional bustle and wishing for peace on earth, there are those that hurt. They hurt more during Christmas than at other times.
Just like any other day, it is difficult to see the good in the world. Mostly because they miss loved ones and times associated with the holiday.
In some weird way, I enjoy this part also. It helps us to grieve in ways that we might overlook, say, on a Wednesday, traveling to work.
None of this should take away joy from one person at Christmas, but it does give us a chance to care for others in ways not possible during other parts of the year.
What About Jesus?
If you worry about Jesus on Christmas, you may be missing the point. If all of the sudden you begin to question what his birth means because everyone is preaching, consider the thougth another time.
Not because waiting does you any good, but because the version of Jesus spewed out at Christmas time is often associated with so much silliness. They say it is his birthday. Seems funny to me.
It is funny because for a few reasons, but here is the strangest thing.
If you pick Jesus to be “your guy”, let him be your guy everyday.
Does the birth of Jesus into the world sound exciting to you? The birth him into the world every day. Not just on Christmas.
About Confessions of a Christmas Junkie
Sometimes I travel in my mind to a different time and place. It is my grandparent’s home and all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles, are there with my immediate family.
We are packed into a house that was too small for the seven children my grandparents had, much less all of their offspring.
Somebody finally pulls out a Bible and reads the birth narrative, complete with angels, shepherds, and all of the wise men. And they begin to sing Silent Night.
It was a family full of broken spirits and emotional wounds. There was always some side feud between a few of the family members.
But no matter what imagined offense had captured the minds of those there, most Christmases found my family singing Silent Night, because that was my grandfather’s favorite song.
In some ways, during that song, we all forgave each other, if only for those two or three minutes.
Here is my confession.
I never sang. Not one note. For me it was always something to hear and for which to be grateful.
If a family as screwed up as mine could come together for just one song, maybe the world could come together for just one moment of peace.
This is my ultimate confession… all I want for Christmas is a moment of world peace.