Can you believe that Christmas is a mere 10 days away? Each year, it seems that the time around the holidays passes ever more quickly. Thanksgiving arrives, and before you know it, it's Christmas and then we're off to usher in a new year.
I often struggle with the holidays that have both religious and cultural significance, like Christmas and Easter—and I wonder if our traditions are doing them a disservice. If you can get beyond the headline, I'd encourage you to read this article about the Christmas nativity. I really appreciated this:
"Christmas, like many other holidays, is a social ritual informed by some mix of religion and folklore. As you’d expect, many popular depictions of Jesus’s birth are filled with inaccuracies that conflict with the story told in the Bible—the supposed presence of “three kings,” Jesus’s birth in a stable, a fair-skinned holy family. Some are relatively harmless—the understandable result of centuries of obfuscation, speculation, and artistic reinvention. But it’s also time to let others go, or to at least broadly acknowledge their divergence from history."
While the nativity might not accurately capture how the birth of Jesus took place, I do think that it is a reflection of the sincere interest in his arrival. And I think I finally believe that there's no way that could be a bad thing.
I'm not sure if it's the unseasonably warm weather, or what, but this year I was reluctant to decorate for Christmas. After our trip to Disney, I was finally in the mood, and we took some time to deck the halls. We purchased a smallish tree, put a wreath on the front door and some garland on the mantle, and hung our stockings. Just today Michael noted that he wasn't prepared for how much Ryan would be interested in the tree. It seems like he is constantly standing next to it, admiring the lights and moving the ornaments from one branch to another. It's been sweet to watch him experience the season in his own little human way.
So as we celebrate the season the key is simple—simple traditions and simple decorations. And so far it's been just enough to put us in the spirit.