If your husband hates Christmas...

The only time I've really written on Christmas, it was full of complaints. A re-write is in order.

When I was younger, Christmas was one of favorite holidays. We'd either be in New Orleans or Thibodaux with a set of grandparents and other assortments of extended family. We had the staple of presents, football, decorations, drinking, and food that is typical of most white, suburban American kids. My family did a bang-up job making Christmas special.

What I loved the most was seeing all of these people coming together. And it usually was not just five or six people getting together, it was a ton of people. By the time we began opening presents, the party had reached its zenith and it was sometimes difficult to squeeze through. I can vividly remember 20 or 30 people on several occasions.

It made me very comfortable to know that I was a part of this big family, and never thought that this seemingly endless stream of people would dry up. But when my parents split in 1985, and then all my aunts and uncles divorced before 1990, Christmas shrank and became much less comfortable. Before long, I didn't like Christmas that much.

In college and early adulthood, I would often tell people I didn't like Christmas because it was over-commercialized and hollow. The underside of it was that it hurt to think about what Christmas had become for me, and how I wished I could go back to the big family parties of my childhood. As the disillusionment and frustration set in, I became more content to despise Christmas and blow it off.

Bigger than all that (and more than I can adequately discuss here), Jesus wasn't really in Christmas for me. I just never saw the connection between my walk with Jesus and how my family celebrated Christmas. I honestly didn't know if Jesus cared about Christmas.

Fast-forward to now, with more than ten years of the Bah-Humbug pattern in my wake, and I'm tired of my Christmas ritual. I'm looking forward to Christmas again, but my hope is not in toys or even large families. It's in Jesus.

The greater portion of my spiritual walk this last semester has been to understand what God intends for my family and how I fit into that equation. From God's Word (including Deut. 6:4, Ecc. 3, Eph. 5) I have been shown how God intends for families to embody a culture that will both point my children to Jesus and prepare them to live in a real world (a lot like a church, really).

Specifically relating to Christmas, my gift as a father is to show my children the gospel story and celebrate it with them in a way that is fun and instructive. Through the way our family celebrates Christmas (and a myriad of other family "institutions"), I can display God's love for us in Christ and our response to His great Love.

So, if you're the wife of Christian Christmas-hater dad, take heart and pray for your man.

And if you're a Chrisitian Christmas-hater dad, wake up and smell the eggnog (yum). Christmas might be jacked up and commercialized, but it's an opportunity to display to your family Christ's gospel story in the midst of the hollow gift-giving and well-wishing of the season.

Merry Christmas.


Scatterd said...

Glad to see you blogging again. Your blog on Christmas is insightful, we as parents struggle with creating Christmas routines that are faithful.
Amy Theobald