Although I love Christmas, I must admit that the season doesn’t bring me warm fuzzies because it’s celebrating the birth of Christ. I love the weeks that precede December 25th, but don’t exactly conform to the commonality of Christians who eagerly await the day with church traditions known as Advent. To be honest, I’m not wholly on board with the season known as Lent as swarms of Christ followers count the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. I understand that there’s something known as a church calendar that some denominations adhere to, but I haven’t been able to share in the same scheduled anticipation for our Lord. Label me heretical, but hear me out first.
I relish the Christmas season, primarily for the family traditions that have stayed with me since I was a child. Fond memories of heading to a tree farm the day after Thanksgiving, decorating the fresh cut find and the rest of the home while sipping on hot cocoa and streaming Christmas themed music. Christmas music consumes our home for a full four weeks as new family traditions occur. Baking cookies and cheesecakes, devouring all things peppermint, having cheese fondue on Christmas Eve. These, and more, are what I look forward to each year Christmastime rolls around. The birth of Christ? Where does He fit into my warm fuzzies during December? That’s just it. His birth isn’t confined to one season of my life. His birth and all that His life encompasses warms me every day of the year, so much so that when the Christmas tree and decorations are packed away by the New Year, Christ decor still fills my heart and my home.
These are some of my choice Christ decorations. They’ve accumulated throughout the years and grace the walls of our home, so there’s not a single room without a tangible reminder that Christ is Lord. When I gaze at our beautifully lit Christmas tree, appreciate the colorful icicle lights outside, obsess over the strategic placement of stockings over the fireplace, or the nutcrackers that adorn, I haven’t even a thought that these are representative of Christ. The decor, the wrapping paper, bows, lights, ornaments, fresh baked goodies, stocking stuffers, Santa suits, contemporary holiday tunes, family traditions: none of the above invoke any more fond feelings about the Christ I worship every other day during all seasons.
I know. I could totally be missing the mark on this one. As a professing Christian, Christmas should be a special time because of its implications of remembering the ushering of our Savior into this fallen world. Well, my outlook may derive from the unchurched upbringing I had, where there was no knowledge of a church calendar, let alone practices encouraging Christmastime to be about Jesus. Far be it from me though to lay blame on anyone or anything else for my own actions or convictions, so I’ll chock it up to maybe missing the mark, but mostly nailing the bullseye in that I strongly desire to see the utmost importance of Christ’s entrance, days lived, and exit as an imperative to be honored on a daily basis.
I have no fear that I need to implement an immovable faith for my child to celebrate Christ instead of Santa on Christmas day. What I do need to do is ensure that the foundation of every day is found in Him, not only for myself, but for those in my care. To go about making this happen will not stem from adamantly insisting that Christmas is about the birth of Christ, because while it is so, His birth, and the brief holiday season are merely snippets of all that Jesus is. If I can cultivate a desire to yearn for the worship of Him, throughout all the days of our calendar year, that provides me with enough warm fuzzies to last a lifetime.
So, for the time being, unless God changes my heart’s desire to fall closer in line with the calendar that the church has established, I’m content with Christmastime being about the decorations, cocoa, tunes, and trees. I stress not about making sure I and my family are in attendance each week of Advent, or even on Christmas Day, to impress upon fellow Christians, or Christ Himself, that Jesus is the reason for the season. As if the life and work of Christ could be narrowed down to one month, or season, during the year. He is the reason for every season.