Thursday, December 24, 2009

'Twas the Day Before Christmas

And all through this house - we are having a hard time getting into the Christmas Spirit (even the mouse). I have noticed a number of folks both in the blogosphere, and in real life, seem to be experiencing this.

Part of it for us is that the children are older. That brings both bad and good: our older daughter serving in the Navy will be visiting tomorrow because it is Christmas (probably wouldn't otherwise - for good reasons). Our younger daughter is still living at home, but is old enough to have a job, boyfriend, etc. Again, she has had her attention elsewhere.

I am working 60+ hours a week so my attention is elsewhere (and I am exhausted when home), and my wife is having a particularly hard physical time right now -- she has also been distracted and tired. So, the tree didn't go up until Saturday and the house is still not fully decorated with all the little Christmas things we usually put out. There was a major spurt of that activity yesterday and it will finish (whether finished or not) today. I realized when I dug out the favorite Christmas music yesterday as part of that process that we have not listened to Christmas music in the house until yesterday. I was spurred on to find our music here by "decorating" my Christmas Christian Carnival post yesterday with the family's choices for our favorite Christmas music. You can see the seven songs I picked here

The shopping is not done really - and will not be: the financial situation is not conducive to the kind of gifting we all would do otherwise. Indeed, only the youngest daughter has had the money to buy gifts - and she is finally ramping up and getting excited in that area. I have a love/hate relationship with the "commercialization" of Christmas: certainly the shopping furor does distract from celebrating the birth of the Savior; and I love picking out and giving gifts - and it is something I haven't really been able to do for years. One of my gifts is giving my wife whatever shopping money we have to do the shopping. This isn't just male laziness and lack of interest - it lifts her up to be able to shop for her children and family.

Which brings up the question here. Are we as a family so imbued with the "normal" ideas of Christmas - decorating, gifting, cards, etc - that the joy over celebrating the birth of Christ doesn't even enter into the equation? Probably a little - although we are all aware of Christ on a daily basis so I am not going to be too hard on us for this. The lack of an "advent" tradition in our household probably lends to this - we do not build up theologically to Christmas day. Indeed, Christmas (while celebrated) is not a major celebration at my church - Christ's death and resurrection are far more important theologically than His birth.

As our family transitions to a rapidly approaching "empty nest" and we (as older folks) start to lose the energy and interest in the decorating, shopping, etc that go with this season - we need to proactively change our ideas about what constitutes preparation for the celebration of the birth of Christ in our household.

Got any ideas for next year.

1 comment:

  1. This is my first year since I was 17 that I have been "single"  I'm not doing well with it and my tree is up, but not decorated.


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