Sure there’s the over commercialization of Christmas many of us aren’t thrilled with, but there’s so much more about the Christmas season that’s amazing. I choose to focus on those. In no particular order, here are five great things about Christmas.
I’m not always the most social person, regardless, it’s great to get together with others to have fun and celebrate the season. Whether it’s smaller dinners with friends, work parties, family parties, church parties, social group parties, or neighbourhood parties, to name just a few, there are lots of places where we get to share the Christmas spirit. If you happen to be one of those who have a party or two to attend, I’d encourage you to invite someone along who might not be going to one. Perhaps there’s a new person in the neighbourhood or a co-worker you know who might appreciate an invite.
If there’s one thing most people seem to get about Christmas it’s giving. We love to give. I remember when I had my first full-time job and I was able to buy presents for my parents and siblings and donate my money to a local food bank. It was such a thrill to be able to give them something. The spirit of giving pours over everyone. It’s beautiful to see people respond to it—they seem more receptive and generous at this time of the year. I see so many giving to local charities, making Christmas hampers, or delivering a warm meal to someone in need. It’s so true. It’s better to give.
Christmas Eve Services
There are so many wonders wrapped in a Christmas Eve church service. People come from all walks of life to gather to sing beautiful Christmas songs, hear a message about the birth of Jesus, and simply wish each other a Merry Christmas. It’s a time to welcome all to celebrate. Jesus was clear that we are to love our neighbours. Who’s our neighbour? Everyone. If you’ve never had an opportunity to attend a Christmas Eve service consider this your invitation, know that you will be welcomed. There are churches in every neighbourhood that will greet you with open arms. Even if you’re not Christian or a church-goer, drop in just to hear people sing Christmas song’s together. Whether it’s a small church of fifty or a large one of five hundred, a group of people singing O Holy Night will warm any heart.
On several levels sometimes the amount of food we eat might seem like a bad thing. Even though some of us tend to put on a bit of weight over Christmas, it’s worth it. Like many others, I try heading into Christmas down a pound or two just so that I can enjoy the feasts before me. I try not to go crazy—but. I don’t care how many times I have to eat a meal with mashed potatoes and gravy—it never gets old. The desserts. There’s no need to describe them. You know your favourites…mmmm so good. It’s good to use this time of the year to remember that there are so many who don’t have enough food. Let’s use our abundance as a reminder of our call to change this unjust reality.
In our house my wife and I always have this interesting…discussion, yes let’s call it a discussion, about when the outside lights should go up. She’d like them up in late November. I prefer not to put them up until the end of the first week in December, maybe even the start of the second week if I can hold her off that long. It’s great to see the beautiful lights throughout the communities we live in. There are the homes with a simple line across the eavestroughs and peaks, like our house, the Griswold inspired homes that need their own generating stations, and everything in between. When you put them all together we have neighbourhoods and country lanes with beautiful displays of light. There’s something about light in darkness. I always like to imagine that inside each house there are people celebrating this beautiful time of the year.
One of the most moving things I ever experienced at Christmas was when my Muslim neighbours knocked on my door. Their family of five stood in my doorway and gave us a Christmas card and a small basket of goodies. They wished us a Merry Christmas. It was a reminder that Christmas is indeed for everyone.
Have a Merry Christmas, one and all.