As a small kid I always loved sneaking into the living room in the early morning to plug our Christmas tree lights in and watch them twinkle; just to sit in the stillness of early morning and watch the magic that permeates this ancient and sacred holiday.
I did not grow up in a strongly religious household; religion in my family was more like a backdrop, a cultural and moral context. Even though I rarely attended church I always felt a deep appreciation for the holiday that lives beyond ribbons and bows. Dr. Suess’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” sums up the special something that lives beyond the festivities and even the religious aspects of Christmas. ‘Maybe Christmas means a little bit more.’
Before there was Christmas there was Yule, and before that was winter solstice. It seems humans have been celebrating this time ever since the first child looked in the stars in wonder. A spark of illumination to the possibility of there being something ‘more’.
That ‘more’ to Christmas is still felt, I am sure, by many people who don’t subscribe to any one religion, but fall into the ever widening category of secular humanists; the people who don’t attend church, but still celebrate the holidays.
I guess I am one of them. My husband and I pondered whether we wanted Christmas to be part of our family traditions when we had our son. What purpose does this holiday serve? In the end we kept Christmas (which I am positive our son is really happy about) because of our many fond memories and genuine love for the season. There is something ‘more’ here, to this holiday. Magic, I suppose.
As I steal some quiet moments this morning in a house with a beautiful fir tree inside, I feel the same peace and wonder that I did at four. Merry Christmas. 🙂