For me, Christmas has never been about the commercialism or the food or the decorations; we do things low-key here in Switzerland, though we do decorate and exchange gifts. It’s about family, time together, specific gifts that the receiver wanted or needed (not just purchases to stuff the stocking or load the base of the tree). As a Christian, the true meaning of Christmas has nothing to do with Santa or sitting around a dead tree in the living room eating candy out of socks. It has to do with the single greatest event in the history of humanity, which was simultaneously a “non-event”… nothing like the people of the times had been expecting, and so most of them missed it altogether. Those who have ears to hear, or eyes to see, will hear and see; those who don’t, or who choose to remain deaf and blind, will do so; it’s that simple. So it is that many people today repeat history and miss the point of Christmas altogether. They get bogged down in materialism, commercialism, superficiality or social pressures of one form or another, and forget about the historical and spiritual aspects of the holiday.
Personally, we will continue to celebrate Christmas with a Christmas tree, gifts, Christmas music and time together with loved ones, all the while remembering the true Reason for the Season, for the greatest demonstration of sacrificial love next to the act of Jesus’s obedience to the point of the crucifixion: That of coming to Earth in the vulnerable form of a baby, born into a family with no status, no wealth and no social power, becoming a human in order to identify with us in every way, and to eventually pay the ultimate price on our behalf so that, if we accept what Jesus did for us on the cross, we can know him intimately – on the deepest level of connection possible to humans in our limitations of time and space: That of the heart, the soul, the mind, and the spirit. The more I think about it, the more mind-boggling it is; the events that we celebrate at Christmas were set in motion for you and for me. It’s that simple.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a Blessed New Year!