Saturday, December 19, 2009

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

The Christmas season is a special time for our whole family, even me. I was a hum-bug for several years, but I have come out of it during the last 5-6 years. I know that Jesus was not born on December 25th. I know that Roman Christians changed from a pagan observance in early 300 A.D. to celebrating the birth of Christ. I know that the world has increasingly commercialized it over my whole lifetime. Need I go on and on?

Whether we celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25, or in the Spring, or even in the Fall, we still need to celebrate His birth. I am not seeing a substitute date any other time of the year by folks who do not celebrate Christmas. We need to celebrate the birth of Christ because if there had not been a birth, there would not have been a resurrection. I guess I feel sorry for Christians who refuse to celebrate Christmas because of its pagan beginning. We may be throwing the baby out with the bath water.

A long time ago Patti did something really special for our family. She gave us each a small gift every day in December. It was something like a small package of coated paper clips for me. The kids and I never forgot how Patti did that for us for several years. I don't know where the tradition came from, maybe Hanukkah. I don't know. All I know is that it was meaningful to us. It didn't matter what the gift was, we knew it came from Patti.

This year I picked up the tradition or whatever you want to call it. I decided to do the same thing for Patti during the six days leading up to Christmas Eve. I had an absolute ball deciding on what to buy and then what day of the six to give it on. Then I wrapped the gifts and put a sticky note on each with the day it would be given. Talk about fun!!

Today is Saturday, December 19 and the Christmas season moves into full force in a family sense beginning today. Tonight Miranda, Steve, and the kids will be spending the night with us. Tomorrow we will all eat lunch at Tiffany and Jared's house. Tomorrow night our extended family (Leroy and Sharon) will be with all of us at our house. I am not sure that it will really stop after that.

You see, Christmas is first and foremost about the birth of Christ. Secondly, it is about family being together to celebrate that birth and what that birth means to us. The presents that seem to take over Christmas, if you let it, are down the list for us. We all enjoy picking something out for another family member, but being together is way ahead of that. We enjoy playing games together, listening to each other, and hearing laughter more than anything else.

I've only written one blog this quarter. I've let other things crowd out my time to write. I'm going to do a little bit better these next couple of weeks while I am enjoying the Christmas season.

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