Posted by: AJtheIrishLass | June 18, 2007

Yeah, Someone Who Understands!

close up of christmas decorations hanging on tree

Photo by Miesha Maiden on

Eve of the Fourth Sunday of Advent, A.D. 2006

Perhaps I’m being a stick-in-the-mud in my not-so-old age, but two things have been driving me batty since the start of the RETAIL Christmas season: the commercialism (which seems to grow worse every year), and the lack of respect people have for each others’ Christmas traditions. The commercialism is bad, of course, but it brings to mind a larger issue: many of us have lost sight of what Christmas is about for much of the Christian world. (Which makes me appreciate “A Charlie Brown Christmas” much more!)

It seems like this year in particular, there has been a lot of nastiness centered around those who observe Christmas as a religious holiday, and those who treat it as a secular, family/gift-oriented holiday. I’m sure I share the frustration of many Christians who maybe feel as though their holiday has been hijacked. It certainly is wearisome to listen to who bought what for whom; how much cooking or baking is left to do; and how much was spent. Probably the worst part is when families are divided over the reason for Christmas and how to celebrate it. There are few things less emotionally trying than having family members who spurn the spiritual traditions that make Christmas what it is, or those who use the holiday for selfish means. Yet, the frustration many of us feel can lead to good “teaching moments”.

A store clerk where my mother & I were picking up last-minute dinner necessities mentioned a discussion with a family member about the 12 Days of Christmas. (For those that don’t know, it’s the 12 days AFTER Christmas, not before as many mistakenly believe). Incidentally, the lady who was in back of us in line also attends a liturgical church and was lamenting the fact that they had decorated for Christmas before Advent. This may not seem significant, but I live in an area where it often seems that liturgical Christians who practice a traditional Christmas are a rare breed.

Obviously, the commercialized Christmas isn’t going away anytime soon. However, if those of us who celebrate a traditional Christmas are willing to reach out to our family & friends who don’t, it can become more joyful once again.
A blessed Feast of the Nativity to all!


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