Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Reason for the Season?

I have to admit, I’m torn.


Don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love the cinnamon, the caroling, the hot chocolate, the mesmerizing twinkle lights. I love the mittens and toggle hats (which, where I currently live, the wearing of has less to do with the weather and more to do with it being *Christmastime*). I love the wrapping and unwrapping. I love those J-I-N-G-L-E Bells (whoo!).


I even love jolly ol’ Saint Nick. I never believed in him, and neither do my kids, but he’s just jolly and old and round. What’s not to love?


But trying to explain Christmas when my 7-year old asks?




I almost think it would be easier if it were just called something generic. Like December Day. Or something.


But Christmas? And this with the 7-year old who is learning about compound words and can make the leap to “Christ Mass”?


No, we don’t do mass. Christ died once for our sins, and that was sufficient.


And no, Christ probably was not born in December. April, more likely.


So what’s with the “Happy Birthday, Jesus!” signs and nativity scenes wedged between the reindeer and the lit-up train whose wheels seem to move?


Ummm. Well. You just try to explain it. And let me caution you with the word “syncretism.”


And what about cute baby Jesus? Well? What about Him? Is this what our faith is reduced to…singing, “Happy Birthday” to the Savior of our souls? Gushing over cute little plastic fingers and toes, forgetting the wounds their flesh-and-blood Antecedent would suffer for our natures of flesh? Cooing over this baby in the crèche, mindless of His ever-present deity?


It is easier to explain Valentines’, Thanksgiving, or even, {{I whisper carefully}}, Halloween. There’s no ambivalence. No trying to defend my love of pine and singing by throwing around a few verses from Luke.


I don’t have the answers to this personal dilemma. I know some have solved it by whole-heartedly embracing all "traditions," and others shun it altogether.


I just don’t know. It was easier when it was only me wondering, when the occasional pondering could be entertained or snuffed at will. It is more difficult now, when the “Why?” is constant and sincere. And freckled, with the big blue eyes of his father.


I don’t think a “Why not?” will suffice.


It is time for me to finish this thought.


Do you have any?



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