December 23, 2005

Thoughts and Reflections on Christmas

This is Rebecca's second Christmas with us, with her third birthday coming up soon (her birth date was 1/2/3, and her adoption date was 1/5/4).

This Christmas has been sort of hectic, with a lot of church activities and other things. Decorating the Christmas tree was a disaster this year, with Rebecca unwrapping the ornaments that resemble little Christmas presents (a little piece of styrofoam was the only reward for her efforts), and the kittens knocking the ornaments off the tree that were within reach (and the reach is higher than we anticipated - the kittens actually made a leaping and climbing game of it!) The minimum height for the ornaments wound up being about four feet.

Rebecca now knows the names of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus, and we have a small Nativity creche in her bedroom with only those three present, avoiding the complexity of angels, shepherds, and Magi. That will change right after Christmas when we present her with a full-fledged creche with Veggie Tales characters! We have a larger Nativity set with a collection of Thomas Kinkade pieces but with Rebecca and the kittens, we didn't want to set it up. All those pieces will stay in their original packing boxes this year.

Some links I'd like to note:

Amy Welborn talks about how many Christians don't get the true meaning of Christmas either in her essay A Sword Will Pierce Your Heart, in National Review Online. Read it all, it is a very moving and thoughtful essay, and here's her conclusion:

Glad tidings of comfort and joy, and Merry Christmas indeed. But without awareness of the risk of discipleship, and the reality that the baby in the manger ends up hanging on a cross, those words have about as little power to change the world as "Happy Holidays."

John J. Miller talks about the figure of Father Christmas in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and discusses J.R.R. Tolkien's and C.S. Lewis's friendship as a related topic, in another NRO essay, Xmas in Narnia.

And another NRO piece (last one!) by Nina Shea, The Real War on Christmas discusses the persection of Christians by tyrannical regimes around the world. William F. Buckley has a similar column in the magazine, where he recounts a horrific incident of martyrdom in North Korea, also reported in First Things. Christmas is not merry and joyful to all people around the world it seems.

I don't intend to upset with that last gloomy link, but I do want to say that we have it real good here in America. If the most significant bit of news is that we're arguing about whether to say "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays", I think that's a pretty good argument that we live in a free country - that we've made it - now let's not take it for granted.

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah.

Posted by Joel Fuhrmann at December 23, 2005 12:59 PM


May you and your family have a blessed and very Merry Christmas. :-)

Posted by: Susan B. at December 24, 2005 12:29 PM