If you’ve been reading my blog for the last few weeks, you’d be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that I’m not really into Christmas. Maybe you think I’m a bit of a Scrooge. Or, at the very least, that I merely go through the motions of Christmas, hating every bit of it.
First I complained about retailers asking my son about Santa Claus. Then I explained that I’ve told my son that Santa isn’t real. Finally, I blogged at Momma Be Thy Name about how hot Christmas is in Australia.
I haven’t, in fact, said anything particularly good about Christmas at all.
But let me make something clear:
I. Love. Christmas.
I really, really do.
Christmas is a magical time full of stories and games, exchanges of gifts and fond wishes, food and drink, and love and laughter. It’s a time where we celebrate the beauty of a tree decked in trinkets, and pause to take stock of everyone and everything in our lives that we love. It’s a time where receiving a greeting from an old friend can bring tears of joy to our eyes. It’s a time when the Ghosts of Christmas Past loiter in our minds, reminding us of the wonder of family and friends and fond memories.
It’s a time for joy.
Not the manufactured-in-a-factory Joy that you can buy at the department store for $99.99 plus tax. Real Joy. The Joy of spending time with people who really, truly speak your language and know your history. The Joy of seeing a child’s face light up in delight before he’s even unwrapped the first present. The Joy of breaking bread with relatives you see only once, maybe twice, a year and wondering why you don’t make time to do it more open.
The Joy of Love.
The Joy of Peace.
The Joy of Christmas.
There’s definitely something magical about Christmas.
But the magic of Christmas is not a fat man in a red suit, or a tree covered in sparkling lights, or a turkey roasting in the oven.
No, it’s something much, much better.
The magic of Christmas is the feelings and memories all those things bring with them.
The feeling of home, when you’re far from it. The memory of childhood, when you’re decades removed. The feeling of togetherness, even when you’re alone. The memory of people and places you once loved, whom you haven’t thought about all year.
Christmas is magical. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
And now I’m off to pour myself a drink and engage in some light-hearted banter (and debate) with my siblings and parents, while my children sleep peacefully in their beds. Bring on the morrow!
Happy Yuletide, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Saturnalia, and a Festive Non-Denominational Winter Solstice Holiday to all.