So, I was planning to update my little side-column with a picture of Christmas, it is that time of year after all. But as I scrolled the pictures google gave me, nothing was right. I mean, it had all the right things: trees, presents, snow, candles, even manger scenes, but I realized that nothing spoke to me. Why? What is Christmas to me? (May I include my caveat that when I say Christmas, ironically I'm not talking about the celebration of the birth and life of the Savior. For me it's like there are two holidays that happen to be on the same day. They most definitely effect each other, but I celebrate them in completely different ways. In this case I refer to the family holiday.)
I think for me it has to do with tradition. I guess that isn't too surprising. For me EVERYTHING is about tradition. It has less to do with getting up Christmas morning, than the debate the night before about what time we're getting up (6:30, in case anyone is wondering). It has less to do with going Christmas caroling, than looking forward to it, but complaining just because thats how you play the game. It has less to do with a Christmas tree, and more to do with who gets to put which ornaments on it. Like rocking horses, and "stained-glass" windows, and geese. Like not even worrying about Christmas lights--because Dad puts them up. Always. And they go back in their original container. Every year. After all--where do you think I got it from? I came by it honestly. It has to do with a felt advent calendar, and rearranging things so you get to put the star up. It has to do with blasting Mannheim Steamroller and Michael W Smith and putting your favorites on repeat so you can lead the orchestra. Its re-reading the Forgotten Carols. Its still having that feeling of anticipation as you lay awake the night before, even as fully grown adult. Its looking out the window that night, crossing your fingers that it will snow--even though it never snows, and using the street light out the window to see if flakes are falling. Did you know that even though its cheesy, and C claims that the song is a liar, "Christmas in the Northwest" makes me all teary. So do made for TV Christmas movies. They're part of the magic of the season. And it just doesn't quite feel like the holiday until I've seen White Christmas and Charlie Brown. Its having cinnamon roll wreath and little smokies, even when Jello stopped making americana custard because "people don't like to stir". Its going to the movies, and out to Changs. Its having Dad at home. Its being together.
None of those pictures expressed that for me. Maybe they were the wrong colors, or had the wrong decorations. Or maybe my holiday doesn't feel stereotypical, but tailored. But they didn't speak to me. How does Christmas speak to you?