Saturday, 14 December 2013

Christmas Porn?

Some words just don't belong together. Allow me to explain.

Driving down the street near our house earlier today I simply had to stop and take a picture. In all fairness to the home owner, I'm sure he thinks that he is spreading some "Christmas spirit" to his neighbours, and who am I to say otherwise. As the old saying goes, to each their own. But for me, strange as it sounds, all I managed to say to my wife about this was, "Christmas Porn." We both laughed at the bizarre thought of putting those two words into the same phrase.

But seriously, what does it mean to say that someone has "Christmas spirit?" Isn't that really rather subjective?

I confess that I've sometimes gotten mildly annoyed with some folks who have accused me of having no Christmas spirit because I do not join with them in all their hoopla over the season. It's true that we do not litter our front yard with all sorts of junk plastic figurines. We don't hang a plethora of lights on our house, as if we wanted to be seen by a passing spacecraft. We don't go through the back-breaking ritual of rearranging the living room in order to find enough room to put up a tree, only to have to rearrange everything back to the way it was after the season is over. We don't buy into the Hallmark conspiracy by sending out Christmas greeting cards, which in turn likely explains why we get very few sent to us.

But does that mean we have no Christmas spirit? Not in our books it doesn't.

Our seasonal decorations are simple, consisting of little more than a beautiful hand-carved wooden nativity set my parents brought back for us from Indonesia. It's nice, and as Christians, one would probably expect us to have some sort of nativity set. However, just as the early church didn't put as much emphasis on the birth of Jesus as they did on His crucifixion and resurrection, we're probably at least somewhat like-minded.

"One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." (Romans 14:5; NIV)

We do give a few gifts, with emphasis on the word "few," but even that is not the focal point for us. For us "Christmas spirit" is primarily about spending a few days (or a week if schedules permit) with immediate family. In some respects, "Joy to the World" for us means the kids are home and we all hibernate together, shutting out the insanity of the world for a little while by playing some old favourite table games, and perhaps eating a little more than we probably should.

So if my neighbour down the street feels that his front yard full of stuff says "Christmas spirit" to him, even though I poked a little fun at it by calling it "Christmas Porn," in truth all I can really say is, may God bless him and give him peace.

  • Is "Christmas spirit" a subjective thing?
  • What does "Christmas spirit" mean to you?

MERRY CHRISTMAS. Peace.

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