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Plain and Simple for Dec. 13, 2012
SoVaNow.com / December 13, 2012As Christmas begins to come around again, I cannot help but think of Christmases gone by and times that I went through as a child. I guess that we all carry these memories with us and measure our present day Christmases, fairly or unfairly, against these romanticized memories from days of old.
We tend to forget that there was the Christmas when Uncle Billy got drunk and fell into the Christmas tree or the time when Aunt Betty made fun of our girlfriend. And, of course, we made a definite effort to forget the several Christmases when it seemed as if everyone had a snide comment about our increasing weight.
No, we prefer to remember the Christmas when we took the Hollywood type photograph of all of us smiling around the tree. We remember the coconut cake and the traditions and the time that Dad told us the wonderful stories about his childhood Christmas. And who can ever forget sneaking into the living room at least sixty-five times on Christmas morning to check on our presents before we could convince our parents to finally get up?
The point is that Christmas is, much like life, a mixture of good and bad. The reason that we have a definite tendency to romanticize Christmas is that we so very much want Christmas to be different. Our culture and, let’s face it, the church does a good job of telling us that it should be different.
But was the first Christmas really all that different from life in general? Joseph and Mary were forced to leave home for a tax! They were so poor that they could not find anywhere to stay for the night and wound up in a stable. That is not exactly the stuff of Hallmark. When the baby came, dirty old shepherds, who were among the lowest in the social system, were the first visitors. And, after the magi finally show up with some good gifts, the slaughter of the infants results.
What makes Christmas different is the arrival of Jesus; that is it. Maybe we need to take this to heart and be a little gentle with ourselves.
We get carried away with shopping and different things and get a little testy. Not only do we have so much pressure but we then feel guilty because it is Christmas.
Well, Christmas is special because of Christ; that is it. Celebrate Christ and have some fun.
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