So, this is Christmas. I’m often accused by friends and family of being all “bah,humbug” at this time of year, but honestly, that’s not the deal. I love the lights, the Claymation Christmas specials, and all the rest. It’s just that everyday is Christmas to me. Yep, long after Linus gives his soliloquy and all the trees have been dismantled (Ugh!), when things get back to normal; it’ll still be Christmas. In fact, I would argue that for the most part, what is being celebrated this week is not Christmas at all. So what are we doing and why do we do it?
I was talking about these things with someone the other day, and when I mentioned that everyday was Christmas to me, they said, “No, it’s not. It’s not everyday that we have the trees, the lights, and that feeling you get this time of year.” Hmm…, that feeling. Is that what we’re after- a feeling? We all know about that feeling. I get it every time I hear “Christmas Time Is Here.” It’s a feeling that takes us back to the days of childlike wonder, back to a time when there was excitement and hope. That feeling awakens our imaginations, the ability to dream of perfect families, and a world in which everybody loves everybody. That feeling is magical, and for a brief period of time it makes everything all right. It’s a feeling we long for because we’re all grown up now, and our childhood visions of sugar plumbs dancing in our heads have been shattered by the reality that reindeer can’t really fly, snow men don’t really come to life, and there is no Santa Claus. Fortunately for us, the feeling isn’t Christmas, and it doesn’t end on December 26th.
The truth of Christmas is in the person of Jesus and the reality that’s found in him. Although our childhood visions have been shattered and our innocence forfeited, the Creator has come to his creation and we are made whole in him. Our imaginations are awakened in childlike wonder as we partake of his love, his life. In him we dream again of families restored and a world in which his peace rules in the hearts of men. Excitement and hope are ours once more as we contemplate his ability to do exceedingly more than we could even think to ask. This is the real Christmas, and it’s more than just a feeling; it’s a daily reality.
No, I’m not bah-humbug at all. I like the trees, the lights, and that feeling. I’ll watch It’s A Wonderful Life, eat way too much, and give and receive gifts. But I know that that’s not Christmas, and it’ll all be over on Friday. Like I said, “Christmas is everyday.” and you can only truly experience it in Jesus. Come Monday, my Light and Tree will still be there.