Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tube Socks, The Farside, and Family - The True Meaning of Christmas

Some time ago when I was a teenager, I stopped covetting every new gadget or toy promoted around the Christmas Holiday. As a parochial school student, I was exposed to the Christmas Story and had great opportunities to think both academically and spiritually on the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ; however, private Catholic school didn't break my fascination with gifts around the holidays. I can't point out the exact moment that it occurred, but I found my reason for Christmas.

Many know that Christians believe that God sent his only son Jesus to help all men achieve grace. Jesus was destined to suffer for the sins of all humankind, past and present, for which I am eternally a big fan. If you are familiar with the story of Abraham and Isaac, Abraham had not been able to sire a child until Isaac and God asks him to sacrifice this one and only son. Fortunately, God let Abraham off the hook at the last minute. God, on the other hand, knew Jesus would have to be scarificed for the sins of all mankind. There could be no last minute get out of jail free card for Jesus. The birth of Jesus is considered by many as the first Christmas gift.

Around the Christmas holiday, many people seem to get so involved in finding sale items or hard-to-find kids toys that the spirit of that first Christmas gift seems to be lost in the shuffle. If Christian churches had lines of church-goers rounding a city block and waiting at the door Christmas day then one could say we got it. If my family started the Christmas morning festivities singing a round of Happy Birthday, we could say we get it. There is more to Christmas for me, as I mentioned, when I got "it" as a teenager.

I think we are stuck with some of the commercial hype. I think we are fortunate to have things like midnight mass and Sunday Christmas services. I find solace in these few truths about Christmas. I plan to write about each of these topics at some point down the road.

Number one, tube socks are a gift from the heart.

Number two, The Farside Off-The-Wall Calendar was and will always be the commercial gift that I wanted, every year.

Number three, Christmas is the best draw to see the most family. The best reason, other than the birth of Jesus, to celebrate Christmas.