The best Christmas is the one you spend with family and friends—in person or via the magic of the internet. It’s December, and A Drift of Quills is sharing some of our favorite things about the season. A joy shared is a joy doubled!
One Best Christmas
It’s time for another (short!) article with my friendly neighborhood Quills. The subject? Christmas. Wonderful, right? Five minutes into it and I found myself in an unusually grumpy, Grinch-like mood. Half an hour later, still stewing, I thought about backing out. Reluctantly, I sat down to apply myself to a little “free-writing.” One of the wonderful things about free-writing is how it sparks ideas and memories…
I don’t like Christmas—at least not the Christmas that our current society revolves around, where the focus is on commercialism, competition, consumerism, and chaos… When (if!) I walk through the stores, I find myself wondering where everyone put Christ. Isn’t this holiday supposed to be about Him? And if you don’t believe in Him, what are you partying for?
I will never forget my first (and last) Black Friday Shopping Experience. A friend told me it was fun and convinced me to go along. In this (commercial) introduction to the season of giving and charity and compassion, I witnessed people physically battling over shopping carts and socks, among other things. Socks, for crying out loud in a bucket.
• Holly and mistletoe
• Small faces all aglow
• Bright shining Christmas trees
• Small people on their knees
(These four precious lines come from the song “Christmas is Here Again,” by Roger Whittaker, a lovely Christmas album from a long time ago—I still listen to it every year.)
I also love:
• twinkling lights that remind me of stars
• the evergreen tree that reminds me of everlasting life
• the star atop the tree—a heavenly sign of prophecy
• candles and wreaths that are so warm and welcoming
• the smell of goodies baking
• the opportunity to remember all the good things that have come our way over the year
• the chance to spend time with loved ones…
But About That Best Christmas…
When I was eighteen years old, my family lived in upstate New York. That year, my father was working out of state. At first, it looked like he wouldn’t make it home for the holiday at all. Then came the last-minute news that he would join us after all. While we might have opened our gifts early, we all decided to wait for Dad. My mom drove to the airport in Montreal—a distance of some 120 miles—to pick him up. The rest of us waited at home.
I don’t remember what time they got home. I don’t remember whether or not we ate lunch right away. I don’t remember a single gift I received that year. What I do remember is the real pleasure and warmth we all took in slowly opening our gifts—one at a time rather than all at once, enjoying the reactions of the recipients, laughing, sharing, and loving.
We didn’t have much. It didn’t matter.
Many of the gifts were homemade. (Those from my oldest sister frequently still had pins in them. Ouch!) We loved them all the more for that.
The Christmases I love are the slow, mellow ones, with people more invested in sharing a wonderful time than worrying about anything else. Christmases with happy faces, hugs, and new memories…
So during this new Christmas season on the tail end of a really crazy year for everyone, I wish you peaceful days, health, and safety. I want to challenge you to set aside what has become mundane and look for the joy. Give it. Share it. Have the best Christmas season.
Two Best Christmas
Author of The Unseen Chronicles
So what about the Christmas holidays capture us in a way the rest of the year misses? We laugh and joke about it, but for me a part of it is the repetitive, kitschy music. Aunty Maude’s fruitcake. (Blech). The cold. Christmas shopping. *groan* B-level holiday movies. (“You’ll shoot your eye out!”)
Of course it’s also “family,” and “Jesus,” but what in the world have we been doing if we push those two into a storage box in the attic only to brush them off one day a year. Talk about absentee parenting and cold religion. Hopefully family and faith are daily encounters, not once-a-year reminders…
Three Best Christmas
Author of the Oathtaker Series
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What’s your favorite Best Christmas memory?
What “best” things are you doing this season? Let us know in the comments below!