Wednesday, 26 December 2007
Well, we managed to avoid the pressure to do Christmas and conform to what others wanted this year, which was unusual and relaxing.
Strangely, both parents-in-law were down with bad colds, (sad for them) so they couldn't come on the 24th in the evening and we cancelled the meal out on the 25th.
We spent the days in jeans, (hooray, no stuffy dressing up and feeling uncomfortable) ate soup, bread and cheese and fruit, (no pressure to produce the perfect meal) visited hubby's Great-Grandmother (Ur-Omi) in her nursing home, did washing and ironing, and generally felt great. It was kind of weird, thinking that loads of others we loved were doing the traditional thing, and I occasionally had a twinge of guilt that I was missing out. But then came this great surge of freedom like a flood of relief - there is no LAW that says you have to do Christmas, or New Years Eve or anything else if you don't want to.
Ur-Omi had asked the children if we had a lovely Christmas Tree. We said 'no, we didn't have one.' She was distracted by something else and didn't get to hear why not. There were a few presents, because the parents-in-law sent them down to us. But mercifully, fewer than there have ever been.
Stopping doing Christmas has been for us like leaving the box of religion. It's a bit scary, because everyone else appears to be 'doing it' and you do feel like a complete weirdo and outsider. I wonder, am I distancing myself unnecessarily from everyone else round here? Is it really right?
Yet when I think about 'doing' it again, I get the same inner reaction in my gut; 'don't be yoked again by a yoke of slavery,' and I just feel free.
Read an article in Aol's German news site by a woman who obviously hates Christmas and hates having to go through the tedious pharisaical rituals every year over and over again, and she's not a follower of Jesus; she just hates the hypocrisy of it all. I wondered how many others feel the same, regardless whether they love Him or not. I know I've felt trapped in it in the past. And every year it's the same battle.
What's in a day? What's in a Name? It's a day like any other. People have accidents, experience tragedy, die on this day, like on any other day. Three years ago thousands lost their lives in the Indonesian tsunami.
Yet we say, 'Oh what a shame it had to be at Christmas.' It isn't celebrated until Jan 6th in the East. So why such a fuss as if were a law? Do we see how bound we are by man-made traditions? God certainly didn't ordain it.
So why do we allow ourselves to be forced to bow down to it? Could it be idolatry?