Last night, while the husband was home containing the wild beasts, I went to Dave's Christmas Wonderland with Beck and Megh. It was lovely to escape the zoo (because that's what it was yesterday) and have some grown-up time.
Dave's is really a lot to deal with for a visual person such as myself. There is sparkling, twirling, twinkling, bling-ed out Christmas crap everywhere. They even had Baby Jesus wrapped in a crystal swaddling cloth. It was crazy. It called to mind a Polish Catholic church in Berea, Ohio, where I taught music for a year while finishing my undergrad degree. Those Poles really know how to bedazzle their saints, I tell you.
It's sad and fascinating at the same time, watching people get ready for Christmas. More often than not, they seem really unhappy and even angry. I'm noticing that so many things are sad and fascinating at the same time, but it really makes my heart ache for all the pissed off Christmas shoppers, grousing and complaining about every little Yuletide setback.
Because...and here's the news of the millennia, people...we have this overdone, stressed out holiday because Jesus was born. Actually, we have overdone and stressed out this holiday that is about Jesus' birth. We celebrate Jesus' birth not because of the miracle of the virgin birth, and not because he was born in a barn. However, I do suggest a holiday celebrating all of the women who have had to give birth where an animal lives, which is miraculous. And disgusting. Mostly disgusting. We do not celebrate Christmas because the angels sang and the shepherds came and rich guys from far away brought super expensive gifts. Truly all of these events are unusual and special, and are the sort of thing reserved for the Son of God and Savior of the World. I can vouch for that, as I have birthed three spectacular babes, and there was no singing, no sheep (good fortune for me), and no rich guys came to the hospital to bring me valuable treasure.
We celebrate His birth so we can rejoice in His death and resurrection. Jesus did amazing things while He was here on earth. Pick a Gospel and read it if you need to catch up on that. But, by far, the awesomest event was when He died. Jesus gave His life, dying a horrible, agonizing death to pay for all of the horrible things we do every day.
I celebrate Christmas because I know about Easter.