Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

How To Stop Distorting Christmas

12 weeks left to make it right.

by
Rhonda Robinson

Bio

October 5, 2013 - 4:50 pm
Page 1 of 2  Next ->   View as Single Page

Orange

Do you remember the segment on Sesame Street where they presented a zoomed-in view of an ordinary object? Then you were supposed to guess what it was?

You couldn’t recognize it at first, because the camera came in so close, it distorted the picture. The focal point is only one small portion of the object. Its details become the entire picture. Then your mind interprets the part as a whole, and renders it something completely different than it actually is.

That’s what often happens to Christmas. You have to take in the entire picture, to view it clearly and appreciate its true beauty.

If you start planning too soon, you zoom-out too far and all the details seem meaningless. Zoom-in too close, like the days before, and it all becomes distorted.

That’s when we become zeroed-in on one aspect and Christmas is in danger of becoming hollow and superficial, which is the complete opposite of what it is supposed to be — and what children need it to be.

Last minute shopping is the usual default focal point. That’s also when we fall in the trap of over-buying, debt and stress.

Focusing on just the gift aspect doesn’t just do damage to your bank account. I’ve heard more than one person complain, and become hurt, because of the gifts they were given — usually by a spouse.

While that sounds shallow, it’s not. Gifts wrapped in thoughtlessness do more damage than good. Ask the lady whose husband shops at the hardware store three days before Christmas — she’ll tell you who’s selfish.

In “13 Week Countdown To Christmas: When Something’s Just Not Right,” I explained that I love the “feel” of Christmas. I truly enjoy creating an atmosphere in my home that illuminates what Christmas means to our family. However, I get in trouble when I wait to start planning until I get in the mood for Christmas.

With 12 weeks to go, it doesn’t feel a bit like Christmas — frankly, I’m not in the mood yet. But we have the advantage of the right distance to view it with the proper perspective.

Let’s create a Christmas that our families will cherish.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (3)
All Comments   (3)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
The two most important aspects of appreciating Christmas are these: 1) Let Thanksgiving be itself. It is not the start of the Christmas season. In fact, it is not even the beginning of Advent. Enjoy Thanksgiving for what it is, and don't start putting up the tinsel and garland until the last remains of the turkey are consumed. As for 2) Don't stop celebrating Christmas until it is over. The Feast of Christmas is 12 days long. Leave your tree up and carols on the CD player until it ends at Twelfth Night.

Christmas, in addition to its divine aspect, fills a very real human need. It comes in the bleakest, darkest season of the year and lifts us out of the gloom. It tells us to gather together by the hearth, fill our cups and our plates and lift our voices in song. That need does not begin in late autumn and does not end at 12:01 am on December 26th. Our ancestors knew what the spirit needs and set the calendar accordingly. Now we take our cues from retailers who aren't good at cash flow.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
"That need does not begin in late autumn and does not end at 12:01 am on December 26th. Our ancestors knew what the spirit needs and set the calendar accordingly. Now we take our cues from retailers who aren't good at cash flow."

Well said.

We've never celebrated the "12 days" but I can see how that would certainly define it so much better. It sounds so much more peaceful. You spend so much time getting ready for the one day-- why not take 12 days to unfold all the more spiritual aspects of the season. That sets a larger stage for giving and hospitality.


27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
We keep the Twelve Days simple, choosing just a few to celebrate in a special way. December 26th calls for a dessert of Port and Stilton (to celebrate our family's English heritage), smoked salmon and single malt Scotch on New Years Eve (for the Scottish side) and a candlelit supper with Twelfth Night cake on January 5th to round out the season. It gives us all something to look forward to while the rest of the world is trying to figure out what to do to fill the void until Super Bowl Sunday.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
View All