Saturday, December 25, 2010


Well, it is Christmas morning, and the way our holiday visiting worked out this year, we went to church this morning and now are home for a few hours until going to my mom's house.  Otherwise I would never have had a moment to write! 

Church was, mercifully, a very small crowd today.  Apparently people do not generally go to church on Christmas morning, anymore.  I was surprised, B was not.  It was nice, though, because we did not have to park a long way away, the service was much simpler (and thus a bit shorter), and the majority of those there were people I don't really know well.  That sounds odd, I know...but honestly some days I find it a very nice change to be able to go to church and have it be more about worship than about socializing.  I wrote in the post just previous about how I sense an element of "fakeness" at times, when it comes to church congregations - you are there frequently enough that the faces are familiar...and sometimes you are praying for other church members regarding some pretty serious life issues....but overall you don't truly know the people around you.  But you all act as though you know each other quite well, because of the environment.  And yet you might see the same people at the local grocery store a few hours later, and it's like they've never seen you before!  So anyway, it was fine with me today that the service was a bit drier and cleaner than yesterday's services probably were.

Along the same lines, I am about done with Christmas-type music, and if I could I would probably start putting away some decorations today.  After a while it all becomes too much - too much celebrating, too much spending of money, too much food, too many desserts, too much of what comes to feel like self-indulgence.  I can't help but wonder if even the majority of the gift-giving done within these few days is really done because of that religious detail - God sending Jesus to earth, to be human for 30-some years, and die for our sins so that in turn we can look ahead to eternal life.  The act of giving gifts is a pleasant one, and I certainly wish I could do more of it for more people - neighbors, friends, family!  But I think humans take it to such incredible lengths at times, buying presents only out of obligation and spending far too much money, that the real reason we celebrate today is lost in the manic shuffle.  We personally have very little money to buy gifts, and so this has caused me to reflect on what gift-giving at Christmas is really about.  For me this year it was more meaningful to give/mail Christmas cards, because in the act of doing that I was able to actually sit down in the quiet of my house and really think about the people receiving the cards.  These days, with the very surface and transitory nature of texting and Facebook-ing taking the place of real, true communication, the mailing (actual mail, with a stamp, putting cards in the mailbox) of cards makes so much more of a connection with others. 

Wishing the world a meaningful Christmas,

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