It’s the time of year when retailers try to convince you that every visible structure and open patch of ground must have lights, inflatable snow globes or gaudy trees that pulse to electronic renditions of “Blue Christmas.”
Sure, Christmas is too commercial. We all know that, and there is nothing we can do about it.
Rebecca – known this time of year as Mother Christmas – is dedicated to giving thoughtful and appropriate gifts to anyone who even vaguely qualifies as family. As you might expect, my view of “thoughtful and appropriate” often conflicts with hers.
Most of her family comes in to town the day after Christmas for a rapid destruction of wrapping paper. Rebecca’s gifts are lovely and carefully chosen. However, I suggested that this year we make donations in their names to the charity that provides farm animals to needy African families. My view is that a goat giving milk to children has a lot more pizazz than a platter.
I have a young cousin who is studying to be a domestic terrorist. It was clear that a Nerf machinegun was both thoughtful and appropriate. I was overruled.
I’m kidding, of course. What he really wants is a Taser.
Seriously, Christmas is about reflection, reconnection, and paying attention to whatever we define as sacred.
Christmas is that time when you go to a relative’s house for dinner, have the same menu, talk about the same things with the same people, comment on the same decorations in the same place, and listen to the same music by the same artists played in the same order. And you wouldn’t change one iota of the whole event.
The nights won’t be silent this year, but we can all do our part to make them holy.
I’ve never heard angels sing, but I have heard the second grade class at Atlanta International School sing “Away In A Manger” and I figure that’s close enough.
There are still at least Three Kings somewhere, and maybe they are following stars.
I’ve never ridden in a one horse open sleigh, but I have had some great times dashing through snow.
Whether I have been naughty or nice is open to debate, but naughty is still a lot of fun.
I have my doubts about Peace On Earth, but we can keep working on the goodwill part. Goodwill is tough, and nobody ever said that doing the right thing is easy.
Christmas is, in a very real sense, a very personal holiday. Each of us has our traditions and memories, and we bring our own baggage to the party. Even in a large group our individual celebrations are private. But that doesn’t keep us from giving our best gifts to others: love, understanding, hope, compassion and joy. Try it.
And there’s always that goat.