It’s the middle of February and most of us must have shaken off Christmassy feelings long ago. Things are back to business as usual. Perhaps you might even be relieved that the season of good cheer is over because depending on where you are in the season of life, Christmas comes with a lot of stress and baggage that wears us out as we try to sort through it all.
But in my family we simplified Christmas several years ago. Perhaps it’s because we are no longer kids. When people give me sweets and I try to decline, they say “Just give it to the children at home.” I laugh to myself and think, “There are no children at home. I am the ‘child’ at home.” (I’ve actually got untouched candy from February 14.) People say Christmas is for kids. The new frilly dresses, colourful hats and bright sunglasses, Christmas trees and tinsel. For many years running, we always had a real pine tree standing in our home on Christmas Day. Now that was a real treat!
But all that is in the past now. Christmas comes and goes with as little fuss as possible. Last Christmas, we were so comfortable with the pace of things that my mother had to ask where the decorations were. So I brought out the box. And I put them up. A pitiful comparison to what we had many years ago. But once the decorations were up, I liked them so much it had to take my mother asking again at the end of January, “When would you take down the decorations?”I guess you can’t have Christmas the whole year through so I put it on my to-do list and down they came, back in the box, packed up until the next season.
I like Christmas. I just don’t like the shallow fuss around it. I am the kind of person who listens to Handel’s Messiah and Christmas CDs in June, singing loudly to every one of them.
Christmas is a cheerful time. People like to do good and to give at Christmas. There are lots of parties and weddings, concerts and plays, bright lights and food. But by the end of January, just as my decorations went back into the box, so does all the good cheer and joyful mood. It makes me wonder, where did Christmas go? And it makes me sad. There’s a song which says “Don’t save it all for Christmas Day. Find a way to give a little love every day” (The Best of Avalon).
Well, Christmas is gone, and so is February 14. But if Jesus were to show his love to us in such small doses, where would we be? I want it to be Christmas in my heart every day if not come next December 25 I am just another fraud putting on a big show.
By Grace Ecklu
Psst…I am glad to be back, posting again on Perspective. Last week, even though I had my pen, travelling through Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana took me away from my laptop and connectivity. And that, dear readers, is a story for another time.