"Silent Night, Holy Night, all is calm, all is bright"? ... really?? ... it wasn`t very silent when I had my babies. ... and there were no barn animals in my room...
"In excelsis deo"? What? What am I singing? I don't get it. Maybe these familiar words have lost all meaning - you know, like if you say the word `tuna` too much. After awhile it just becomes drivel.
It's not just the carols ... it's the big show of Christmas that bugs me - something inauthentic about it all. Probably my own expectations. Those tend to be unrealistic...
It's confusing to me that December is a time when we suddenly expect to become collectively joyful and generous and caring. Why? Do generous acts in December make me a generous person?
I recently read a saying that went something like, "If someone is nice to you but rude to the waiter, she is not a nice person."
I guess my pet peeve about Christmas is that we perform a few acts of kindness, pat ourselves on the back, and continue on unchanged. I hate that.
It's not enough.
But I digress. ...It really is easier to point the finger at the collective than to examine my own heart.
I must have some weird expectations about what makes Christmas special. Honestly, I think the highlight for me is the gatherings. I love getting together with family to eat and play.
Maybe I expect that Christmas is supposed to be a formal celebration, but it's too impersonal. (for me) Jesus is fairly central to our everyday. (Well, Jesus and Thomas the Train) We pray, sing praises together, apply scripture to life, share with others, read the Bible and in general just get to know God. (And watch, read and talk about Thomas the train too)
Maybe I can compare it to birthday parties. We don't really celebrate adult birthdays in my family. "Here's a card (if I remember), let's go out for supper, and continue talking and hanging out like we always do." ... does it have to be a big production?
I guess I've had some expectation about Christmas that, at some precise magical moment, the clock will chime and peace and joy will commence. It's in every book and commercial I've seen about Christmas, isn't it? And instantly we will be showered with good feelings and be drawn together in unity with each other and Christ. Ah, to bask in it if only for a day...
Wow. Earth to Kim!!
No wonder I'm frustrated. That's not R-E-A-L. 'Real' might be a little of that, mixed with 'Mommy, I peed on the floor' and 'Uh-oh, I think I'm sick' and broken dishes and movies that skip - maybe even a hydro outage or a hot oil spill.
I guess a solution to my frustration might be to stop looking in judgment at the anonymous masses and tend to my own walk. The sincerity of others isn't mine to judge. I can apparently hardly recognize reality on my own! My job is to make sure I'm sincere, and building character year round. ... and maybe having realistic expectations too.
Merry Christmas, all!