The perfect Christmas
I’ve been giving a lot of thought to our Christmas celebration. I always do give a lot of thought to it, and it’s always my highest aim to keep Jesus as the center this time of year, and of that day in particular.
However, I’m at odds with myself over that desire for simplicity.
I grew up dirt poor. Really, honestly poor. And our Christmases were always a disappointment and an embarrassment. I always hoped that no friends would call on the 26th, and that when Christmas break was up that most of my school friends’ excitement would have worn off and nobody would be talking about Christmas, because I dreaded having it asked of me, “So what did you get for Christmas?” Because, invariably, it was next to nothing. And, it’s not like I could fall back on the richness of cozy memories, either, because I had a very tumultuous, strife-filled childhood, and there was little joy, little celebration, little tradition, and no peace.
So, I find myself loathe to have our Christmas bare-bones minimalist, especially when we can afford to give our children nice gifts. Now, it’s not a glutted orgy of wild gift-giving with multiple thousands of dollars spent. But, we’ve always been generous, and it pleases something deep in my heart that I can give my children gifts that they’ve “always” wanted, when — not once — in my childhood did I dare to “always want” a gift, because I would never, ever, ever have gotten it.
Still, though, there’s something wistful that arises in me when I read of family Christmas celebrations that are extremely low-budget, but warm and filled with Jesus and tradition, with nary a spendy gift in sight. This story, written by Daja, is, I think, just about perfect a description of a thoughful, cozy, inexpensive, loving Christmas, and will perhaps make you wish that you didn’t have two dimes to rub together so that you could have a Christmas like her family’s.