Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I Actually Like Christmas

I've seen it more this year than in the past; lots of people seem to be just fed up with Christmas. They are miffed about rude shoppers, a sluggish economy, the push to be "politically correct," the prospect of spending one more holiday with family members they really don't like, etc. There are a lot of things we could and do gripe about. As human beings, particularly Americans, we're actually pretty good at it. I heard about a foreign exchange student the other day that said: "You Americans sure have a lot of nice things to complain about" (emphasis mine). Pretty sad commentary. I admit that I've joined the chorus from time to time, but honestly, I really do like Christmas.

I like the fact that more than any other time of year, there is a overall sense of caring for others, showing kindness and reaching out to those who are less fortunate. I like the fact that during the Christmas season, people think more about Jesus, the baby in the manger. I like the fact that during this time of year, people are more open to talking about their faith, their eternal destiny, etc.

Today is Christmas Eve. I got up this morning around 6:30; both of the boys were already up. Right now, we're waiting on Dana to get ready, i.e. makeup, dressed. We're going out to eat breakfast and then return home to open our presents. (We started this tradition several years ago when my parents moved out of state. In previous years, we had to do that "it's my parent's year for Christmas Eve and your parent's year for Christmas" thing. Since Dana's parents are the only ones within driving distance now, we pretty much just spend every Christmas with them)

Tonight, we'll fix some snacks and watch A Christmas Story--you know the one where the mom keeps saying "You'll shoot your eye out!" It's a Christmas tradition. We'll finish the evening by doing our "Happy Birthday Jesus." We've done it since the boys were little. We have a little birthday cake for Jesus and we sing "Happy Birthday."

For all the things it has become, there are still lots of things I like about Christmas. One of my favorite things is to dig out the Jim Reeves - Twelve Songs of Christmas CD--it's a remaster of an old vinyl record my mom played the grooves off of back when I was a kid. My favorite song is entitled: C-h-r-i-s-t-m-a-s. On the original recorded (for some reason, it's omitted on the CD), the song starts out:

When I was but a youngster
Christmas meant one thing
That I'd be getting lots of toys that day
I learned a whole lot different
When mother sat me down
And taught me to spell Christmas this way...
Then the song goes like this:
C is for the Christ child, born upon this day
H is for herald angels in the night
R is our Redeemer
I means Israel
S is for the star that shown so bright
T is for three wise men, they who travelled far
M is for the manger where He lay
A is for all He stands for
S means shepherds came
...And that's why there's a Christmas day.

Yep, I like Christmas...

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