Christmas, Christmas and Christmas

December 20, 2017, 5:40 pm


There’s , and there’s .

And then there’s .

There’s the Christmas that’s about getting the newest iphone or drone for a loved one, spending hours trying to find the perfect gift for the person who has everything—including closets absolutely overflowing with gifts from Christmases past.

It’s about making the rounds of the Christmas parties and drinking more alcohol in a month than during the rest of the year. (Well, unless you count the Superbowl party and the Grey Cup party, oh and May Long, and that fishing trip with the guys and the fireworks weekend at the lake. Oh, and that week in Cuba. It was all inclusive, after all.)

This Christmas has its upside—especially if you’re a store owner or own shares in Amazon—and its downside, which becomes evident when the credit card statement arrives in January.

Then there’s the Christmas whose patron saint is Charles Dickens. The Christmas that’s about squeezing the entire family onto the couch to watch A Christmas Carol for the seventy-seventh time, while the fire crackles in the other room.

The Christmas that’s about taking time off from our hectic schedules and really enjoying the company of friends and family.

The Christmas that wouldn’t be complete without turkey and stuffing, stockings and a tree, tinsel and lights, an old-fashioned Christmas.

This Christmas gives you a warm feeling inside—and a craving for egg nog with spiced rum—just thinking about it. There are a lot of wonderful things about this Christmas, not least of which is an increased focus on family and friends, which some of us do not focus on nearly enough because we are so busy with our work and our organizations and our volunteering and our hobbies and so much more through the rest of the year.

And then there’s Christmas.

You know. The one that’s sometimes forgotten about.

The one that’s about the birth of bright hope in a dark world.

About the infinite possibilities in the birth of a child who can change the world.

About a miracle that unites Heaven and Earth.

The spirit of this Christmas is reflected in the gifts purchased anonymously for needy families through programs like Angels Anonymous and Caring Communities, in the food bank hampers distributed locally by volunteers, in shoeboxes of small but heartfelt gifts that flow from here to developing countries through Operation Christmas Child, and to First Nations communities through local Anglican churches, in the change dropped in a Salvation Army Christmas kettle, in unsure, wavering voices singing ancient carols in tiny country churches.

Because the spirit of this Christmas is about loving, living, sharing, and celebrating. About the birth of bright hope in this world, and within ourselves. About the confidence and hope that the light of a tiny spark, a tiny flame, can shine through infinite darkness.

As you take time out to celebrate this special time of year, however you choose to celebrate, here’s hoping you have a very merry and meaningful Christmas.