I am not "into" Christmas they way I used to be. Why is this? Only some vague ideas. I haven't had a 'regular' Christmas tree for years. No big one with all the family legendary ornaments, made by our children, by Aunt Betty, etc. It just doesn't fit, anymore. I have a 4' very narrow tree with white lights - I wrapped it with silver stuff to stand in the window. Across from my chair is my favorite fiberoptic one - changes colors all the time and is very soothing. But it's really not for Christmas. Sometimes it stays up for months, just because I like to look at it - more like an accessory than a Christmas tree. Maybe when we were all together as a family, all that love in one place made it Christmas. Maybe though the love is still there. But, also maybe, as our lives draw to a close, we are to leave the tryanny of the urgent (trees, parties, gifts )and just let it be to meditate on the message of what the coming of Jesus has and will mean to our existence. I find myself more and more drawn to books about Jesus and what He wants from us, and how, and now my library sack looks very different from the way it used to. I have a grand book on the 'collects' for each Sunday of the church year, which I pick up and down. When I read it, I really need a highlighter because it has all become so very important. I want to preach again.
Christmas is no longer about tinsel and parties and, ruefully about wide eyed children on Christmas morning. I do miss that, as they begin to learn what gifts are to them, in order to understand later what the greatest gift means to them.But it seems to me that the plethora of surprising gifts most of our children receive, and the fact that they believe they came from a wondrous, mythical creature who operates from love, is a forerunner of our real truth. As adults, we also receive a surprising and wondrous gift from a mysterious Father just because He loves us. We can't meet him yet, but his gift is always there for us to take. Real magic! Jesus is the gift and it's not just for Christmas but for all time. How telling to begin teaching this to children with Santa Claus, and them easing over into God the Father who loves us more than even Santa Claus does.
Our family love continues to grow as we remain close in spite of grandchildren scattered all over the U.S. We love from a distance, and we pray that they all come to understand what Christmas is really all about - and how very important that understanding is. I no longer need the hoopla - it is enough to have family who love us and care about us and to grow in the knowledge and love of our Lord.
Blessings to you all at this time, and always.