This year, I feel “Christmas-y”.  I actually feel like I want to put up a tree. I feel like I want twinkling lights, shining things and and to hear the same old songs this season normally brings.

Many Christmases in the past I have felt depressed about and around the Christmas season.  I hate the idea of spending more on trinkets to give to someone so they can just throw that trinket away.  Consumerism, waste,  needing to one-up, and commercialism thoroughly appall me.   But Consumerism is becoming easier by the minute,  and I do participate in this world of commerce… however begrudgingly it may be.

I have also blamed the weather for not being snowy enough to give the warm “Norman Rockwell like” feeling that you get from coming in with rosy cheeks, wet mittens and frozen toes for my not so Christmas-y feelings in the past.  It seems that climate change has made snow a rare thing around Christmas going into the future, though.  So I can’t really blame the climate any more.

And then there is the economy vacuum that leaves us feeling guilty for not having enough money to pay for things to live, but then feeling guilty if we don’t get people in our family at least one gift to open, and sometimes we are willing to open credit card after credit card to get that gift.

I have been contemplating for most of the day something my daughter brought up.  “I want my family to look forward to Christmas.”  The most interesting thing about this statement is that my daughter gets particularly annoyed by the use of Jesus at this time of year.  She believes that all religions are bad and that people have killed more people in Jesus’ name than any other.  I don’t disagree about religion causing wars.  We as the human race seem to only fight about which way to love God is better, or whose God is the most peaceful… For as long as humans have been.    She wants the tree, lights, Santa approach.

My son, on the other hand believes that Jesus is the entire reason for the season and that the tree, lights, Santa approach completely negates and distracts from what we are to do during this season.   His ideals are to give and rejoice with others.  Not just others that we are around every day but especially others that are in need.  No tree, or lights and definitely no Santa  for him.

Back to my contemplation. I am not sure why I feel more “Christmas-y” this year than the last few.  Perhaps it’s because we finally live in a place that I really like, or that we’re over all closer to family.

One thing all of this contemplation has given me insight to, is that I am a mixture of both ideals.  I have come to the realization that Americans just do trees and Santa.  My 3 different pastors over the past 16 years have done a successful job of explaining how the “pagan symbols” can represent and celebrate Jesus, in my mind.  I am definitely more generous to everyone, known and unknown alike, during this season.  I feel the main reason for the season is Love.  To share love as much as possible.