We didn’t celebrate Christmas when I growing up. I knew about Jesus and Santa from school, of course, but one of my earliest memories is listening from the top of the stairs while my father argued with some other member of the Cult that “he can believe in Santa Claus or Jesus, but not both”. I think they were talking about me.
I had my first real Christmas, at least one that I can remember, when I was eight. The year we escaped the Cult. We had a small apartment in a tiny city and a tiny tree, but we spent the actual week with my mother’s parents hobby-farm in the mountains. The first gift I remember receiving was a small pair of cross-country skis.
I remember the best part of the Day was watching the wrapping paper burn in the fireplace. Somehow the flames would change colour depending on the colour of the paper.
I never had a real connection to Christmas other than it being a time to receive presents. The ‘giving’ part of the Day came later, when I was old enough to start dating but, although I respected the religious aspect of the Day, it was never the primary concern. Occasionally my mother had us write letters to Santa — even though I had stopped believing after listening to that argument, but we never went to Church. Basically it was never a Religious Day for my brother and myself.
My little brother has had a slow conversion, when he had his first and only child he started taking the religious parts of the Season to heart. He goes to mass every Sunday with his little family now. When I had my first son, I started to take the secular traditions around Christmas more seriously. I taught him about Jesus and Santa, and decided it was quite alright for him to believe in both. But we always have a tree (this year’s is a little on the small side), and there’s always cookies and Egg Nog for Santa. And there’s always lots of presents, and dinner with their Grandparents.
Anyway… there’s a YouTube video worth watching below. If all you see is a large blank space, maybe try reloading the page. If that doesn’t work, just click HERE. It’s worth it.
…so — even though there’s zero evidence Jesus was born in December; and that it’s pretty ‘Sus’ that Mary and Joseph would travel all the way from their homes in Nazareth to faraway Bethlehem by donkey just so they could give birth in a barn; and the fact that during the nine months of the pregnancy the good people of Nazareth would have had to buy into the story that one of their own was impregnated by a deity; and what about the Holy Bible’s Deuteronomy (20-21) which clearly stated that “[if] no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you…” I’m sure that little law played no part in a 14-year old Mary and the Virgin Birth story — from our household to yours, Merry Christmas.