Christmas 2007

Posted: 12/25/2007 by that's Elbert in Christianity, Christmas, culture, Family Stuff, Fun, holidays, Music, personal
Christmas decorations

Random thoughts from this Christmas.

From Kavips’ site, I made several comments about Christmas that might be worth repeating here:

I for one have been discouraged by the lack of Christmas spirit in retail outlets in western Sussex. I said “merry Christmas” to a clerk at Family Dollar Christmas Eve, and he looked at me like I was some kind of freak. My daughter worked at Food Lion Christmas Eve and wished all the customers in her line a merry Christmas (the company didn’t forbid her to do so). She said there were many who looked at her like she was some kind of freak.

I don’t know what bug was up their butts. Maybe it was the long lines, but I almost don’t care. It’s Christmas. Smile and try to be happy.

We’ve had years when it was tough to buy gifts and years when they were plenty, but we’ve always had that Christmas spirit. Music fills the house and car (George Winston’s December is playing quietly as I type). We always have Christmas Eve dinner at my grandmother’s where we normally open gifts. This year my oldest son bought gifts (he has a job, praise God). Hardly able to wait, he had his siblings and mother open their gifts (I refused, it didn’t seem right to open them early). Even though my two oldest didn’t get to go to my grandmother’s due to work they still seemed to enjoy the evening. I’m looking forward to the morning when they get up and open gifts.

Music has always been a part of the Christmas experience. It’s hard or impossible to remove it. Some of my favorites include the aforementioned George Winston, Elvis’ Christmas Album (the material he recorded in the 1950’s is my favorite, including the gospel songs), The Singing Dogs, The Chipmunks, and Bing Crosby. Jars of Clay’s original recording of “Drummer Boy” is firmly part of the holiday as well as hearing their Coca-cola Christmas commercial and “Rudolph”. And what is Christmas without Stryper’s “Winter Wonderland”?? I love hearing Relient K’s “The 12 Days of Christmas”: What’s a partridge? What’s a pear tree? I don’t know so please don’t ask me. But I can bet those are terrible gifts to get. And at least once a year, you’ve got to hear Bob & Doug Mckenzie‘s “12 Days of Christmas”: and a beer… in a tree (no, I don’t drink, c’mon it’s funny).

My grandmother has said “this year would be the last year we do the Christmas Eve dinner” for about 10 years. I stopped believing her.

No we don’t believe in Santa anymore, but we still enjoy things related to the holiday. And even though our kids are well into their teens/early adulthood, we still make a cake for Jesus on Christmas and tell him “happy birthday”. It’s a fun tradition we’ve have for years and a small reminder of what got this holiday started.

For a period of time, we didn’t do Santa Claus with the kids because I let some scrooges convince me that any God-fearing Christian won’t do that in their home. After I read what Jack Hayford wrote on the topic, I got over it and we did Santa again as well as instructing our kids on the reason we have the holiday. Part of that involved the “Jesus cake”.

“Jesus cake” was a way we remembered the birth of the Christ child. We’d bring out the cake and sing happy birthday to Jesus. It’s not eaten first thing in the morning because unlike in Bill Cosby’s home, we haven’t done cake for breakfast. 🙂 It is always yellow cake with chocolate icing because it’s my wife’s favorite. We don’t know if it’s Jesus’ favorite because we can’t find a Scripture on that. At my brother’s house last night, my brother wondered if Strawberry cake might be the Lord’s favorite. We would have been displeasing to Him all these years. And it was also speculated if the the Lord might be displeased because we never gave Him a piece. Right then, I’m sure the Lord had a good laugh at our goofiness.

Getting back to the stuff I started at the top, here’s some ways you can spread some Christmas spirit around to your community. Smile. Stop and let people leave the store without getting clobbered by your car. Put your shopping cart in the cart corral or push it back inside. Give drivers the right of way even when it’s yours to take. Put money in the kettle for the Salvation Army (in Laurel do it for the Good Samaritan). Yeah, the kettles are gone, just remember to do it next year. Go the extra mile for people. I had that happen to me this year twice. In both cases, the people said to me, “I’m treating you the way I’d want to be treated.” These are small suggestions but it’s a start.

Merry Christmas to you all!!

Christmas decorations
  1. mmahaffie says:

    Merry Christmas, Elbert. And good Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, a joyous Winter Solstice, etc. May the God (or gods) of your choice bless you. Be happy and spread happiness and light where-ever you go. And keep on bloggin’!

  2. Alan Coffey says:

    You don’t believe in Santa Claus any more? Well, merry Christmas anyway.

  3. Mike, covering all your bases? Merry Christmas is OK here. 🙂 It’s good to hear from you again.

    Alan, what I was saying is that my kids know who brings the gifts. At their ages (16+), if they still think a guy in a red suit shows up with a bag full of goodies, we might be in trouble. 🙂 It is good to hear from you as well.

  4. Conservative Geek says:

    We didn’t spend a lot in stores this Christmas season and I think that this year seemed more festive than others. .

    I think that Christmas traditions like the ones you have are important to a healthy family. There is a major emphasis on the season that everything is amplified. I remember what we did when I was growing up and have even carried some of that over to my own family. In our society, you cannot not make a big deal out of Christmas. You can only focus you and your family on the real Christmas spirit or let yourself get pulled into the sour vortex.

  5. swampcritter2 says:

    In this house my wife has always been the impetus behind our Christmas spirit. She gets it done. When my daughter lived here she was permitted on Christmas Eve to open one present only. The rest were opened on Christmas Day. That was our rule. Now she lives on the west coast and sends us pix via internet of herself and her husband opening the presents. We enjoy this. My wife and I do not exchange presents as I learned long ago not to buy gifts for a woman. This Christmas in particular has been one of the most enjoyable ones I have had in many years, if not the busiest. My wife has lately been singing in the choir at the church we attend, and since the choir practices have generally been in the evenings and I don’t like her driving at night I chauffered. After the choir practice a prayer meeting took place, that we never quite managed to attend before now. So we hung around for that as well. I met a lot of very nice people who rarely attend the Sunday services (for whatever reason) and got to know them. It’s been a busy Christmas indeed, and I’m glad it’s over, but I couldn’t have exhausted myself with a finer group of people.

  6. David "Scott" says:

    Isn’t it funny how we we treat each other? Why does it seem so bad at Christmas time? Maybe we are just more aware of it now because, well…. IT’S CHRISTMAS!

    I was really encouraged to hear you say there were some who demonstrated kindness because that’s how they would have wished to been treated…. and your challenges to put the carts back and give others the right of way etc… how about we do that and do it even on December 27th or maybe even *gasp* April 14th? ( ok, not my favorite day of the year either ) Still… I loved what you had to say and I want Jesus to shine through me regardless of the day of the year.

    Anyone ever experience the Christmas blues? Or the emotional crash after all the festivities have come to the end, and all the paper and cardboard fills the floor and the piles of dishes and mounds of debt pile up? hehe yeah, me too! So let’s take a minute to remember that Christ came to give LIFE and life more abundantly….. let’s drink deeply of that living water and be replenished.

  7. Alice says:

    Maybe it’s a local thing, or maybe I just don’t have your sensitivity, but this year seemed to have more “Christmas” in it than usual. I regularly think about how we’ve become so constrained by political correctness, a hyper-evolved sense of fairness in EVERYTHING – even when it doesn’t matter, and a mysterious guilt-hag that seems to have a stranglehold on many of us. It gets to where saying a simple “Bless you” when someone sneezes or “Merry Christmas” during the season brands you as insensitive or intolerant of those who don’t approve of such things.

    Well, I’m tired of being held hostage by the “I’M OFFENDED!” crowd. So I refuse to let those inflexible and intolerant folks dictate what I say or do. It has gotten ridiculous. And a funny thing this year was that a lot of other folks seemed to have made the decision! I heard more Christmas greetings and expressions from friends, store clerks, and total strangers than I can remember hearing before. It made me feel good!

    So I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and will have a fabulous New Year!