"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." ---John 14:6
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Of Christmas Tweaked
And so it begins. Christmastime.
Probably I'm one of the few Christian bah humbugs you know, but you know, right?, that what I object to is the Christmas frenzy. The trappings. The wild-eyed-must-have-and-see-and-do-it-all-ness of it all.
And those silly deflated, face-down Santas splattered all over everybody's lawns. And Rudolph (who's on tv tonight). The whole terrible tragedy of the little guy.
I prefer a type of year-around Christmas. It's quite different and the fun lasts much longer.
But anyway, remember when Ma Ingalls told Laura: "There's no great loss without some gain"? Well, guess what's been swirling inside my head this week?
Why? Because for the last five Christmases (or more) we've downscaled Christmas majorly around our house. Fewer decorations. No parties. Less gifts each year. No tree except for the gold grapevine one I pulled from the basement (perpetually decorated so I could just plop! it on the table).
But in our Big Move, we even gave that away.
And each year, I've enjoyed Christmas more. The fewer the trappings, the greater the room for Christmas joy, I say.
And then last year I kept repeating, "Next year let's scale back even more, ok?" Tom and Naomi nodded agreement, though not as excitedly as I did. So, well, guess what? The 'no great loss without some gain' thing is our wonderful excuse this year. Because Tom was downsized into Unemployment Land, we have our legit reason to cut way, way back and do Christmas ultra-sanely.
(Insert the Hallelujah Chorus here.)
Already I had my lovely half-off Victoria Christmas cards (from last January) and the stamps I'd stocked up on. Scribbling messages on Christmas cards is lovely and Grace-filled so that tradition will remain.
And our old-fashioned kitchen radio dial is set on the Constant Christmas station, for there's nothing like carols in the kitchen while my fingers shape pie dough and I'm gazing out on a snowy field laced with trees.
At Thanksgiving, Tom, Naomi and I discussed a money limit for each other, a lower one than ever, citing also that creativity is good and if we can make things or find gifts for free, well, so much the better. So look-out online credit card--you will be on a diet this December.
There will be gifts for our parents. Offerings for the needy, too. Hopefully a morning visit around the table with two of my friends. Maybe a few Christmas lights wrapped around the furniture. I'll retrieve our one (and only) box of Christmas decor from the attic and watch a few Christmas dvd's (don't you just love the Charlie Brown one?). And we'll eat a pleasant Christmas dinner, of course.
And well, that will be about it. But it will be lovely and peaceful and hopefully, Jesus-centered.
And definitely, mall-mob-free. :)
What are your favorite Christmas movies? The ones I've watched a bazillion times are:
Charlie Brown's Christmas,
A Christmas Carol (with Geoge C. Scott. Hard to believe I used to have a major crush on him at age 14 after I saw him in Jane Eyre),
the first two Home Alone movies (I know, I know, but I love them),
It's a Wonderful Life,
Miracle on 34th Street,
Christmas in Connecticut and
While You Were Sleeping which I consider a Christmas movie when others might not.