I love Christmas.
Some things I don’t enjoy about holidays are….
Actually I have to reframe things I don’t like into things I “GET TO DO” because once I make up my mind I don’t like something that’s the end of that.
The hatred of mushrooms, olives, and sweet potatoes were decisions I made when I was small that only took about two decades to change. Upon trying them I discovered they were pretty good and now love them. More accurately sweet potatoes took four decades. Whatever.
Hot or cold I am I am.
Erin and I had our first Christmas together and she came up from the basement with an actual cassette player. I looked on in horror “What on earth is that?”
“My Christmas music!”
She hit play and I realized I’d made a fatal error in picking a spouse.
It was Boney M.
“This is a joke right?”
Erin stared back blankly.
“Like this music, you’re joking right? My mom put you up to it?”
She looked at me in surprise. “I love this music!”
There was only one thing (not true) on my wish list for a wife and it was the following two things:
- Must not, under any circumstances enjoy Boney M Christmas.
- Must not, under any circumstance, PLAY Boney M Christmas.
Had my childhood suffering not been enough? My mom Beth played that freaking album every day of my childhood during Christmas and one day I decided Caribbean Christmas music was a travesty and would make Santa turn over in his grave (I wasn’t a normal child).
Oh well, in heaven there will definitely be no Boney M Christmas. My heaven anyways.
Another thing we get to do at Christmas is hang out with people you wouldn’t normally. We call these people extended family.
Extended family are people who look like you and have the same name, but don’t think (and sometimes smell) like you at all. Normally people who don’t think like you don’t hang out with you for very long, but they have to at Christmas time. Sorry, they GET to.
I love my Uncle Tom but he’s not exactly politically correct. My cousin married a lovely Filipino girl whose sister Tom was somehow in his weird brain trying to endear himself to by referring to Vancouver as “Hongcouver” (I’m not even kidding). Our eyes all widened, the cousins all choked on their drinks as I leaned over and smiled “Welcome to the family”.
Tom’s been a little off for about three decades now…
Extended family y’all. You have them too. They’re sweet but related by blood only and should not be named in legally binding documents beside your name. We Get to hang out during the holidays. The questions Erin and I field on the ride home from the girls are very educational for them, and us.
“Aunt ____ said whaaaaaa? Oh my goodness. Here’s what really happened that day..”
Everybody has traditions on Christmas Eve, and as much as I hate being told I have to (get to) do some things on a recurring basis, I love something that may have been a tradition to you but wasn’t to our family until just last year.
Christmas Eve service.
Now I could laugh and say the Chreasters (people who only attend church on Christmas and Easter) have nothing on our family who are at church every time the door is open, but in the churches I grew up in it wasn’t a tradition to attend a Christmas Eve service.
But Venue started doing Christmas Eve last year and it was crazy well attended. So much so that we’ll do a 3 and 5pm this year.
And it was fun to serve the city as a family Christmas Eve and really set the tone spiritually for the entire meaning of Christmas in the first place.
I do hope you’ll attend a service Christmas Eve, as many great churches in town will happily host you, but my greater hope is that it would be the beginning of a tradition that you can’t beat when you weigh the value of it over the next years of your life:
Adopting a church family.
A beautiful thing I’ve found is that my church family became My People. People who aren’t perfect (which is good because if they were I wouldn’t be allowed to hang with them), but ARE available.
I don’t even HAVE to hang out with them, I actually GET to.
But to meet them you’ll have to go where they’ll be Christmas Eve, such a great tradition!