Friday, December 24, 2010

This year, Christmas is ON

I live with someone who hates Christmas, and last year, in deference to him, we did not celebrate it here. Christmas was OFF. This year it is ON. Yesterday, he asked me for the zillionth time - “Why do you celebrate it?”

A good question. I don’t think I do believe in God, and so I don’t think that Jesus was his son. But I like the Christmas story very much. For me it’s about HOPE. The birth of a baby is always a special event worth celebrating. Babies come trailing the mystery and the magic of another world – where did they come from? Where were they before? And they embody in their little persons innocence, freshness, a wonder and a hunger for the world. Babies are the ultimate new start, and in that there is HOPE.

tate 006

The traditional story with kings and shepherds and innkeepers and animals suggests this HOPE is for everyone, and the baby himself was given to a carpenter and his wife – ordinary working people. Hooray! Not rich celebrities! Double hooray!

pappa with lux in office

I am a person who needs HOPE to survive, to cope, to carry on. I need it more every year. So that is why I like the nativity story. And I like to celebrate Christmas because, like babies, HOPE needs nourishing and cherishing if it is to survive and to flourish. 

And then there is all (what some people call) the seasonal flim flam: the holly wreath on the front door, the tree and the lights, and the cards from old friends, the wrapping of presents for family, and the bothering to wash the kitchen floor and the special cooking for visitors, and the lovely feeling of having the house stuffed full of people I love. the question should really be – Why would I NOT want to celebrate Christmas?

tate 010

I hope you have the kind of Christmas you like – whether it is ON or OFF or non-existent.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a handsome family!