I’m not a Christmas person.
It’s not that I’m anti-Christmas. And I’ve participated in my share of Christmas programs, pageants, and presents. I have. I have read and written scripts, shopped early and late, laughed and cried, eaten and served.
But the holiday is so wrapped with expectations that I am no longer a Christmas person. Expectations of delight, expectations of surprise, expectations that the perfect gift will elicit as much wonder in the recipient as it did in the mind of the maker/shopper/wrapper. Expectations that this year, everything will be different.
I wish I had no idea what I mean. I wish I didn’t live in a world of broken marriages and broken hearts. I wish I didn’t live in a world where the toy that looked amazing on television is actually a balloon, a world where the actors laughing around the Christmas table actually knew each other. I wish that the chair at the head of the table wasn’t left empty this year, that the mind at the other end of the table could remember last year. I wish that everyone who smiles could mean it.
I wish that you didn’t know what I mean. Some of you do. You aren’t Christmas people anymore either.
I wonder whether Jesus was born for Christmas people. I almost think, thought I don’t want to be exclusive, that Jesus was born for the people who aren’t Christmas people, who have gaping holes in their lives and families and hearts.
Jesus ate with tax collectors and sinners, people on the edge of acceptability, people who knew that something wasn’t right. Jesus looked for the hungry and thirsty and sick and imprisoned. People called on Jesus when they had nowhere else to turn.
I’m not a Christmas person. But I need the Christ.