Saturday, 24 December 2016

What does Christmas mean to you?


'It is the season' is one of the most banded around comments I hear this time of year. I also personally use it a lot but why? It is the season to shop like a mad woman? It is the season to eat gluttonously? It is the season to party? It is the season to want more? It is the season to......

What is it all about? Have we lost sight of what it truly is about? So many of us of course recognise this season for its beauty and love. Family, friends, time spent at home being with each other, but why is it so commercial. Why is it so in your face? Do we actually remember what it is all about?

So many questions and so many answers. 
For me, advent is amazing. I love my advent calendar I have at home, but something I hadn't realised until I had set it up was that it actually said Christmas calender. Now this is no big issue, but it is funny how the calendar sure is an advent one to count down each day to Christmas and it is almost like advent is a religious term, so let's move away from it. Which I then find even more strange as that is what this period is. Advent is such a lovely festive time to have to realign yourself ready for the big celebration. Advent brings us time to actually take notice of each day. When do we ever do that? Days so quickly turn to weeks, months, years and we all say it, but it is so true. "Time is moving so quickly", well it does when you don't think about each day passing through the year. Why does Christmas come so slowly? Because we recognise more consciously each day to it. I find I have days in advent due to the fact that it is the one month in the year I actually know what date it is! This period is laid out perfectly for us. The first hits and then we can fully enjoy it all. Decorate, put up the tree, begin the shopping and actually find each day brings us one step closer to the celebration. I can't say I mind people putting up trees in November, but I do mind how quickly this great period is over for everyone. Why take your tree down on boxing day? What is that? After Christmas day we enter into an even more wonderful time as that week before New Year offers perfect opportunity to see people and to have fun. It's not all about the build up, it's about all the enjoyment! Even just staying at home with the kids is ace, playing in front of the warm fire and eating left overs for days. Sure all that is worth keeping the tree up for?

The actually day itself also, the star at the top of the tree, the nativity plays, the gift exchanges all landing on this one day when actually we celebrate CHRIST-mas, Jesus' birthday. It's a funny one that, a celebration we all take part in that is actually centered around the church. For us as practising Catholics we obviously attend Christmas mass and that in itself is so joyful. Everyone is in good spirits and it honestly is a reminder of community that can often just drift a bit through the year. 

Having that as our centre is what our Christmas is about. That one thing we believe and all of the family, love, food, parties are all wonderful, wonderful bonuses that come with being grounded and keeping that celebration as it should be, with God involved. 

Christmas for me is a time of joy and celebration. Having church and the reminder of Jesus coming to the earth is a fantastic lesson for the kids and we love the whole journey.



Emily
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