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Saturday, December 4, 2010

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Our house is beginning to feel Christmasy! We put up our tree last week and we have hung the decorations. Watching my four year old get excited about these decorations has been fun this year. It has also caused me to wonder, "Should I try and pack a smallish box of ornaments to take with us?"  "Do we really have to leave this kind of stuff behind? Or get rid of it altogether?" It has also caused me to think that Christmas tradition and the holiday season should have everything to do with our Creator and Lord, and very little do with material symbols, much less material symbols of commercialism that our culture has so grossly overwhelmed us with! So I have been pondering ways in which we will create traditions and special times for Christmas without the "norm" that Rob and I were raised with (which were nice and healthy and God-focused, I'll note.)
However, I was thinking that our children may grow up with memories of Mango smells and tropical seasonal African flowers around Christmas time rather than my childhood memories of cinnamon spice potpourri and the pine scent from a real Christmas tree in our home. And even though mandarin oranges seem to be available year-round now, I still can't help think of Christmas when I go to peel one. I have a feeling my children won't share that nostalgia. Is that weird?
These thoughts are really trivial at the end of the day, in comparison with things of true importance: the birth of Christ, the message of hope He brings, His love and grace and forgiveness! But they are thoughts I've had through this process nonetheless.

Merry Christmas!
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Josh and Jocelyn R. Plett December 30, 2010 at 8:49 PM  

i can totally relate with this! my boys are growing up identifying Christmas with heavy rainfall, the smell and taste of litchis, going swimming at the club on Christmas holiday afternoons, and Christmas lunch on the deck. These are in no way similar to my cultural cues with Christmas and at times it makes me a bit sad, however, like you say - Christmas is not about those things but rather about Christ. One thing i've learned year after year since we've moved here is that culture plays such a huge part in our spirituality, which isnt a bad thing mind you, but it's a 'neat' experience (read: difficult and challenging, but thrilling at the same time) to learn to break free from my earthly culture when celebrating faith-holidays because i am not inundated by the cultural cues that normally surround and at times suppress the reality of the event.