Christmas… That’s not what it’s about, you know…

by Raylene on December 24, 2013 · 1 comment

During a recent lunch conversation with a friend, we talked about how so many people have been [unsuccessfully] trying to get into the Christmas spirit this year. My Christmas tree wasn’t up at the time, and it just didn’t feel like Christmas. At the end of lunch, I lamented to my friend, “We haven’t even done Christmas cards this year.”

My beautiful and wise friend lovingly responded, “That’s not what it’s about, you know.”

 

That’s not what it’s about, you know.

 

And with those words, I had a moment of revelation.

 

Christmas isn’t about so many of the things we’ve made it to be about.

That's not what it's about, you know.

Christmas isn’t about the cards, the holiday concerts, the decorations, the food and baking, the gifts and gifts and gifts, and the _________ (fill in the blank with your particular family stuff).

Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with any of those things.  Those things are all wonderful, or at least they CAN be wonderful.

But most of “those things” are traditions we’ve latched onto (or were foisted upon us) somewhere along the way. Most of “those things” have become obligatory expectations of ourselves and others. Most of “those things” contribute to stress and LESS enjoyment during the holiday season.

I’ve always tried really hard to focus on “The Reason for the Season”, and celebrating Christ’s birth during Christmas time. Our family Christmas traditions have centered around what we felt was important, and what Christmas is REALLY about (as weird as some of those traditions might be). And as much as we enjoy them (overall), there’s a lot of time and energy that goes into them. Sometimes there’s just not enough time and energy to get it all done. I have felt pretty awful about that on more than one occasion, disappointed in myself, and sorry for those around me who trust me to carry on those traditions and keep those things going.

those things

I really thought Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without those things, those traditions, those activities. And so Christmas became all of “those things” to me. I KNEW what Christmas was really about, but those things were always how we engaged with and participated in Christmas.

Not doing those things would lessen Christmas, right? Those things are what make Christmas, so without them Christmas would be diminished, right?

You know what? You aren’t failing at Christmas if you miss one or a few or ALL of those things.

You know what? You aren’t ruining Christmas for anyone (including yourself) by choosing NOT to participate in some of those things.

You know what? Christmas doesn’t NEED you to do all of those things to still be a full Christmas.

You know what? Christmas isn’t about those things, as fantastic as they are.

For me, realizing that Christmas isn’t about all of those things made me step back and ask, “Well, what IS Christmas about, then?”

I do think Christmas is what we make it, so I don’t have one blanket answer for that question.  In our family we do celebrate the birth of Christ, and that’s the heart of our season, that’s what it’s about.

But we really do have a choice about those things we do to celebrate.  We can evaluate for ourselves which of those things are essential, and be truthful with ourselves about which of those things are really just expected.

Christmas cards are not essential for us this year. If you’re expecting a Christmas card from our family, you might be disappointed.

But guess what?

That’s not what it’s about, you know.

 

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from It's OK to be WEIRD

 

{ 1 sharing the weirdness., add your own comment. }

1 Philip Verghese Ariel December 26, 2013 at 12:24 PM

Yes, Indeed a very revealing post.
Yes, thats what we all want to know
I am here via Damayanti’s tweet
Thanks Daya for the tweet to lead
to this post, yes, we all a different
notion about this wonderful day
called Christmas,
Above all if Christ is not really born
in the hearts of individuals these all
celebrations are a big Zero,
So let us have second thought on
our celebration. Pl. also have a look
at one of my post i posted in the year
2011. Jesus ultimate purpose of His
coming to this earth is to die for the
sins of human beings and he did that
on the cross of Calvary, and His only
demand from his followers is to remember
His death, not His Birth,
So let us remember this vital truth when we
celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ
Have a happy holiday
Phil

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