Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I admit it. As a Christian, I have no idea what to do with Christmas. Not the religious piece. That part seems clear enough. We are in the midst of a penitential time of introspection and anticipation. We hear about John the Baptist on Sundays and go to confession. We examine our inner darkness and try to clear the way for the coming light. All that makes sense.

What doesn't make sense is how to do that while the world is screaming at you from every corner to

Have fun!!!!

Buy stuff!!!!

Buy more stuff!!!!

On SALE!!!

Back before I was a Christian, I loved the 'out in the world' version of Christmas. Nguyen and I would listen to sappy big band Christmas albums and go shopping at 2 am at whatever store was open. (Zayre's used to stay open all night in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Remember that, New Englanders?) We'd make hot apple cider and decorate the tree.

Maybe all of this is going to happen on Christmas Eve, from now on. As it is, we have had a tree since the Saturday after Thanksgiving... but haven't done anything more than string a simple string of white lights. No ornaments or star. No wreaths on the house. No lights on the bushes. It just doesn't seem right to be doing all that during Advent.

This is all so new to me, this oddball conjoining of the sacred with the profane. What do you, as a Christian, do with this? Your thoughts and comments are welcome!


Iohannes Michahel said...

For several years now, I just attend to the sacred and totally avoid the secular. I give gifts on New Year's Day.

Iohannes Michahel said...

Here's a gem:

"When the day of the festival comes, most of the citizens, being exhausted from the (frenzies of the) Rush, lie in bed till noon. But in the evening they eat five times as much as on other days, and crowning themselves with crowns of paper, they become intoxicated. And on the day after Exmas, they are very grave, being internally disordered by the supper and the drinking and the reckoning of how much they have spent on gifts and on the wine.

"(Now a) few among the Niatirbians have also a festival, separate and to themselves, called Crissmas, which is on the same day as Exmas. And those who keep Crissmas, doing the opposite to the majority of Niatirbians, rise early on that day with shining faces and go before sunrise to certain temples where they partake of a sacred feast.

"But (as for) what Hecataeus says, that Exmas and Crissmas are the same, (this) is not credible. It is not likely that men, even being barbarians, should suffer so many and so great things (as those involved in the Exmas Rush), in honor of a god they do not believe in."


Rachel said...

I love the New Year's day idea! Or even 12th night.

And yes, the Lewis quote is wonderful.

As it is, my tree sits bare and the few gifts I have purchased are in boxes still. I can't figure out if it is Advent or procrastination.


Mary Beth said...

I ignore it as much as possible. Make sure to throw a couple of parties so I get a few decorations up...that's it.

Buy stocking stuffers for the (Grown up) kids. Buy Heifer gifts for everyone else.

Go to church.