For those of you who traditionally go away for Christmas or are with family and can’t attend Christmas Eve worship, you missed a wonderful round of singing, lighting candles, along with more kids than you could count. How does a little child experience Christmas Eve worship at the 4 foot level? It’s dark. The organ, harp and piano send out carols and music that overwhelms the senses. It is hard for those infants to peer over the heads of all the adults and catch all that is going on. Chaos, energy, new sounds, lights and dark define this holiday which will become a center point in this small life. How does their understanding develop, what, from these impressions will survive and shape their future sensibilities to the God- Christmas presence?
The vision of Santa too may determine the Christmas awareness, what’s true and not, have I been misled? Does the God of Christmas grant me every wish if I am good and how good does good need to be? I never hear or see Santa again for another year. Is that true for Jesus, who we seem to be talking about, sometimes in the season, but never really get around explaining how he relates to Santa. Is he Santa’s nephew? Even the Honda commercial says this is the best holiday of the year, and it is frenetic and consuming, and easily confusing for me, let alone for a child of 3 or 5.
The presents I received; a sweater, books and chocolate, (mostly chocolate, thankfully) sit in our bedroom until they are re-positioned with all other gifts and household possessions. I confess that I don’t always remember 10 or even 3 years on who gave me what. It all gets lost in the accumulation of things. And so I hope that Jesus doesn’t get put away and I forget who he is and why he was given to me as gift. Amidst the to-ing and fro-ing, he can easily get tossed out with the used wrapping paper – at least until next Christmas.