I love Christmas! I used to REALLY love Christmas! I used to start playing Christmas CDs in my car in August and started Christmas shopping about the same time too. I love the decorations! I love the music! I love the special foods we make just for this time of year! I love the special movies and, above all, I love the spirit of the Holiday and what we are celebrating!
Also, I love Jesus! I don’t care who that offends or annoys. Christ is a huge part of my life and has been for 30 years.
I don’t enjoy this time of year as much anymore. Here’s why:
PEOPLE! People are ruining it.
I love people. I love lots of different people. Not all of my people celebrate Christmas and those who do don’t all celebrate it the way that I do for the reason that I do. THAT does not bother me. What bothers me is that people get so bent out of shape about how everyone is choosing to celebrate their holiday.
Elf on the Shelf: I personally, can’t stand this little guy. I’ve said it before but I’ve flat out told my kids he is not real and if he was real, I wouldn’t let him in my house. He’s a jerk tattle tale who has ravers with Barbie and TPs Christmas trees. No, no, no. I don’t have time for that.
Recently, a friend told me his kids had been acting up a lot the last few weeks.
“So I got the Elf on the Shelf. They were naughty so I went out and bought a $30 doll.”
“That’ll show em.” I said.
And because he’s good natured, we both laughed.
If you have an Elf On The Shelf, I will give you a hard time about it but I think my friends know that I’m joking. You know now.
A friend recently posted something about her Elf On The Shelf and one of her friends commented that she shouldn’t lie to her children. She should tell them the truth about Santa and the Elf. She had some scriptures to back it up too.
Seriously, lady? Seriously?
Another friend told me that she does not put Merry Christmas on her Christmas cards because she doesn’t want to offend her friends who don’t celebrate Christmas as Christ’s birthday.
“Really? I didn’t even notice,” I looked at her card again and it said “Joy to the World!” A beautiful wish for all!
“Yeah, but then I know it just irks some of my conservative friends,” she responded.
“It will only offend Republicans,” I jokingly assured her. I JOKED! OK! If you do not have a sense of humor please never read my blogs again. Kthanks.
The thing is, she’s right. We can’t win. We’re damned if we do and we’re damned if we don’t. I’m not going to send different cards to one group of friends than I do to another.
My neighbor finally was able to put her life sized nativity up in her yard. It was her father’s and was in her yard as a child. She was finally able to convince her family to set it up. It embarrassed her daughters and one worried that it would be shoving their faith in their neighbors face. This year it is up.
“Oh! It’s great!” I exclaimed to the girls as I was dropping them off one day. “Mary looks beautiful!”
The girls were happy and proud of their nativity.
“It is the reason we are celebrating Christmas,” one said.
And then, even in my own house…
The day after Thanksgiving we got out all of the decorations and got the tree up and all of the Christmas books out and our nativity set up. It’s time I get a new nativity. Sweet Baby Jesus had a foot amputated, an ox is missing a horn and an ear, and Joseph lost a hand. A carpentry accident? I can’t say. I asked my sons but no one seems to know what happened to my nativity set. I put up other décor and then My Man joined us.
“Hey, do you know what happened to the nativity?” I asked.
“What do you mean?”
“Many parts are broken. Look…” I took him over to see. “…and now it appears, several pieces are missing. Where are the wise men? I know I set them out!”
“Oh! I hid them away,” Buddy confessed.
“Where? Why?” I asked.
“Because it’s historically inaccurate. The wise men were not there at the birth of Christ. They came much later,” explained Buddy.
“Buddy, that’s…great…to know but we are not splitting hairs here. My nativity has wise men and I want them there. This is a symbol, a memorial, it’s not a historical reenactment. It’s just a reminder of why our family is celebrating Christmas.”
My first Christmas Eve here was spent with new friends and new neighbors and the conversation went to why we were celebrating Christmas. No one but my family was celebrating it for the birth of Christ. That did not surprise or hurt me. What did hurt me was when they started to mock my faith. But not saying Merry Christmas is not mockery. Having an Elf on the Shelf or believing in Santa has not damned ones children to hell. Somehow my children have managed to keep Christ the center of our celebration while still believing and celebrating with Santa. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a Christmas miracle or something.
I also know there are Christians who don’t celebrate Christmas at all because that’s not when Christ was actually born and Christmas is a spin off of a pagan Holiday. They don’t want Jesus getting offended because we’re mixing him into the Winter Solstice mix.
Come one people.
I think I said this at Easter as well but it doesn’t matter when you remember someone or some day. Christmas is what you make it and when. My birthday is August 4th (please mark your calendars) but I have celebrated it on other days. I know that may cause heads to spin for some people. It’s a crazy thing! It doesn’t mean my birthday didn’t happen or that it didn’t happen on the 4th, it just means we recognized it on a different day(s) (sometimes I like my birthday to last a whole week).
We can’t make everyone happy. We just can’t. I’m not offended if you don’t celebrate my way and I’m not offended by how you celebrate. What this holiday is about, above all, is love. Christ’s love, brotherly love, love your neighbors kind of love.
I have a friend, Robert Wren, who gives me grief whenever I see him. He can’t say a thing to me that is not disparaging my height or intelligence or…whatever else he can find to poke fun of. I told him once, “Oh Rob! You just keep on with that. With every jab you give all I hear is “I love you.””
He laughed and said, “You get me. And that’s exactly why I love you.”
I’m still giving you Elf on the Shelf people a hard time. It’s become a part of how I celebrate Christmas. Each time I do, know that it’s my way of saying “I love you.”
I’m now terribly home sick for the Wren family. Have been all year… You people are on the top of my list for 2015. You have been warned.