Tuesday, December 7, 2010
An "elf" suggested I put my Christmas letter on the blog but since anyone who sees the blog has already received the letter, it seemed redundant. Instead I while share some thoughts that come to mind as I decorate the house and the tree.
Of course, "Home Alone" is playing and next I will watch "Holiday Inn". As I place decorations and hang Christmas needlework, I think about a young friend and her two toddlers. They will have a "Solstice Tree" and celebrate with friends coming over for the day. The young parents grew up with the traditional Christmas activities but feel strongly about sustainability so will not cut down a real tree. They are also passionate about not adding to the marketing and financial irresponsibility of "Santa", so are trying to stay away from the tradition of gifts. Of course I was appalled, at first, but as I thought about the choices, I realized that happiness is in what we create and enjoy. This young family will be remarkable and very happy because they are seriously involved in their children and in creating a happy family.
Still, the message of Christmas kept nagging at me. Not the typical message Barb and Dave enjoyed at the Lynwood Church musical- stop rushing around and find the real meaning of life in Christ and in the people around you. We all know what happened to Ray Milan! But the reminder that Christmas is most fun with children around to surprise. Why is that?
Maybe Christmas is important, in the cold and dark of winter, because it removes us from "reality". It allows adults to reconnect with fantasy and play, the important parts of the season. And that is the reminder I want to send into the new year! There is no "realistic" answer to life. Reality is the moment we are living and how we choose to live it. Choosing to live without play and imagination and dreams is our own decision but not a "more realistic" one. The future is not "realistic", it is unknown. Let us try to dream good, happy moments into our futures this year and not let the possibility of unhappiness dictate our choices. That is not more realistic but just allowing fear of unhappiness to direct our path. Give yourself the Christmas gift of believing in your own happiness and your own dreams, no matter how improbable they seem in the dark of winter. Run through the snow and sled down the hill believing that there will not be a ice wall but instead a pile of soft snow at the bottom. Take the walk in the snow, go down the steep hill and taste the snow on your tongue all year long and make the your decisions, knowing they will be full of the fantasy and joy that you bring to them. That is the reality that Christmas lets us remember each year.