Regular readers will know that I love Christmas. I love it so much I have considered applying for the role of Mrs Clause, though obviously that would be bigamy (since I’m married to Purpledad) and elves frown on that. Anyway the point is I’m a fan of tinsel, a lover of mince pies, a worshipper of twinkly lights, I love Christmas.
However recently I’ve been wondering, what is it all about? Obviously if you’re a Christian that question is pretty much sorted. Celebrating the day the son of God was born on earth, thats a given, definitely worth remembering his birthday with food and gifts. For me though, with my doubts and uncertainty about faith and Christianity. Why am I marking this day?
I have heard that Christmas used to be a Pagan festival, stolen from the Pagans by Christianity. It’s an argument for celebrating Christmas that I’ve heard touted by my left wing, circus friends. It’s fine and if it works for them, great, but I’m not a Pagan either. In fact I don’t follow any particular faith or worship any particular God.
Does that mean I’m stealing Christmas for my own entertainment. I’m indulging in the decorations, the gifts, the food, without a thought for meaning in all this? Feels kinda indulgent and greedy really.
Though there is a lot more to Christmas for me than presents, twinkly lights and a feast. I love the goodwill I see during the festive period, people are more willing to give to charity, smile at a neighbour. That has to be a good thing regardless of motivation. I like how it brings people together, spending time with people you perhaps don’t see during the rest of the year. It might be awkward spending Christmas with annoying Aunt Doris but those connections are important to remind us of where we come from and who we are, I think.
All the Christmas cheer is much needed in the dark cold winter. I keep the winter blues at bay with a glass of baileys and a cheesy Christmas special by the lights of the Christmas tree. I can’t imagine trying to do November to March without Christmas to break it up.
I even enjoy the Christian elements to Christmas. My son is in a nativity next week and I know I’m going to love watching him and his friends perform. I adore carolling, finding a real calm in my soul when enthusiastically (if not tunefully) singing silent night etc. There’s a part of me that longs to return to my childhood tradition of midnight mass.
This is what Christmas is for me, what is it for you?