Dear Baby Jesus,
I know you're the "reason for the season." I understand that Advent is meant to be a time to gather one's thoughts and prepare for the coming of the Christ, both in our lizard-brain collective memory as well as for the Final coming. However, I just can't help myself but get all caught up in the trivial commercialized modern-day traditional trappings of Christmastime.
I love planning just what presents to buy, picking them out, wrapping them, placing them under the tree. I simply adore wandering through a few dozen acres of conifers looking for just the perfectly-sized, perfectly-shaped, perfectly-verdant Douglas fir. I drool over Martha Stewart holiday crafts and seasonal recipes. I DVR all the Christmas specials, even the ones I already own on DVD (which is many, many of them). I love a giant Christmas morning brunch, an even bigger ham dinner, platters of Christmas cookies, egg nog! I love labeling, writing, addressing, folding, stickering, and mailing dozens upon dozens of Christmas cards. I giggle and grin at the ever-more-Griswoldian Christmas light display in our yard and on our house.
I just love all the fun stuff and hustle and bustle that comes along with Christmas.
Sure, we have multiple nativity sets around the house, mixed in with the Santas and the snowmen. Sure, we attend Sunday church services, sing in the choir, and pray regularly.
But, somehow, the real true meaning of Christmas for me isn't really the birth of the Savior so much as it is a celebration of Family, of togetherness, of creating and maintaining traditions for our kids. I know those are all virtuous things, but I cannot help feeling more than a little angsty and guilt-ridden for not feeling that light-from-within feeling that so many of my friends seem to find so readily. And in all this creating- and passing-on of traditions, am I really neglecting the most important one of all?
I'm sorry, Baby Jesus, for not putting you first this holiday. I'm going to try to make a better effort this year and to really think about the real gift we all received You and Your Father. And, regardless of whether it really happened in December or not, celebrate You this season.