Merry Christmas everyone!
I decided today that I don’t care for Christmas much. In part, the conclusion came while trying to find appropriate gifts for my wife and daughter. Over the years, I’ve learned that out there in the retail world, there just isn’t anything that does my love for them justice. And even if there were, I probably wouldn’t recognize it.
Adding to the gift shopping blues, of course, is the problem of justifying the frantic activity that precedes the holiday. Simultaneous this year with a Messiah performance, numerous banquets, concerts and parties, etc. we were hosting a virus in our household, a stubborn one that seemed determined to undermine the enjoyment of each event. There just wasn’t time to rest and get well, it seemed.
Why should it be like this? Today I was browsing in the
One of the items adding to the busyness of the season was a sermon I promised to deliver on the Sunday before New Year. I’m half done at this point, and will have to work on it while we’re at our daughter’s place in
Now, suppose we were to scrap—or at least downplay—the Christmas celebration because of it’s ambiguity and its co-option by Santa Clause and his cohorts and replace it with a new New Year. Falling on March 22, it would herald the approach of spring, and would be similar to Rosh Hashanah in that it would be a solemn occasion for introspection, renewal of commitment, and finally, a gigantic day of feasting and celebration, dancing and singing to honour the LORD’s care over the earth and its people and the promise of a good year of sowing and harvest, learning and growing.
How long would it take for the commercial interests to co-opt that? Well, the telling factor would be whether or not we allowed the development of a “vacuum of authority” to invite the secular world to tell us how to celebrate it in a way that would heighten once again the urge to consume with great profligacy.
We’ll get through Christmas again. I sense that there are people around me who don’t feel the disappointment with the season that I do. Perhaps they have filled the vacuum themselves with something meaningful. I hope so.
Meanwhile, we did decide this year to reduce our spending on gifts for one another to a minimum, and instead, we’ve donated what we would tend to spend ordinarily to an MCC Global Family education project in
Merry Christmas, everybody. And a Rosh Hashanah New Year
 See Mead, Rebecca, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. Penguin Books