A Christmas Tree for me?
I wish I had a Christmas tree. We threw ours away sometime last year in August when we moved into our new place. Apathy has led us (me) to not even purchase a new one. I saw one at Ikano two days ago selling at around RM40. Thought of getting it. Then a better idea came to mind -- get a real tree. Well, it's 2 hours to Christmas. And there's still no blinking tree in my house. No presents to place below it. Various traditions have shaped the feel of Christmas. Christmas has become nothing more than another season to boost the economy. I somehow feel I've lost the mood of the festive.
I shared yesterday at my youth group about "Christmas through the eyes of ..." the world, church, non-Christians and the Bible. All of them have very unique perspectives.
In the world, Christmas is all about gift exchange, carols, Santa, Christmas trees, fancy dinners, fun. To non-Christians, it's pretty much the same picture. To the church, Christmas is about singing, going for a service or mass (if you're Roman Catholic), gift exchange, messages that correct the view of Christmas, family dinners.
The bible, portrays Christmas differently. It's dramatic. The feelings are mixed. There's elation in the heavenly hosts about the newborn King. Wonder in the 3 wise men who followed the star. Repressed fury in King Herod who was out to destroy this 'so-called Messiah'. Uncertainty in the fourteen year-old pregnant Mary. And perhaps doubt in Joseph, if the baby in Mary was really from God. Both Mary and Joseph dealt with frustration too. Having no sterile medical facility while the labour contractions were happening couldn't have been a pleasant experience.
Jesus' first experience of Christmas wasn't the dazzling twinkling of an artificial Christmas tree. Perhaps more darkness than light, cold in a less than sterile stable. He didn't smell scented candles in the air-conditioned church hall. His aroma of Christmas was the unholy cow dung and contributions from the other animals in the stable. As a baby, he became a refugee in Egypt, fleeing Herod's order to eliminate children born at the time.
Perhaps, we need to rethink what we're really celebrating. Nevermind the Christmas tree.