My Worst Christmas Is Still Christmas

This is the worst Christmas that I can remember. But I’m OK with that. I was hoping to have gone to Ohio to spend it with my family. My kids and I are all sick, which means that no one really got much sleep. And no trip to Ohio. Instead, I’m waking up on an air mattress in my own living room with nothing but these oddly placed lights (no tree) to remind me that it’s Christmas. My throat burns. I feel miserable.

But still, that doesn’t stop Christmas. Today is a day of celebration. Albeit, a flawed celebration, at the wrong time of year, sprinkled with pagan traditions (which I can’t honestly deny: I do like the pagan traditions), but it is still a celebration of the God and Creator of the universe coming to this lowly existence in the flesh. It is the celebration of life – both this life, and the gift of eternal life. It is the celebration of what was probably one of the worst Christmases that God ever had: birth is a difficult process, and His was under difficult circumstances -including the very goal of death. I really don’t think it was a very good Christmas for Him, but it was a WONDERFUL Christmas for us. Now we have hope and light in this dark world.

Today, there are soldiers who are having a cold, wet, sick, lonely, miserable Christmas. I woke up today with my family in a warm home, having gotten -very little, but still SOME – sleep. And today we shall celebrate Christmas. Besides, misery isn’t so bad. It’s OK to laugh at that, but this is what I mean:

“…our American culture’s overemphasis on happiness at the expense of sadness might be dangerous, a wanton forgetting of an essential part of a full life. I further am wary in the face of this possibility: to desire only happiness in a world undoubtedly tragic is to become inauthentic, to settle for unrealistic abstractions that ignore concrete situations. I am finally fearful over our society’s efforts to expunge melancholia from the system. Without the agitations of the soul, would all of our magnificently yearning towers topple? Would our heart-torn symphonies cease?” – Eric G. Wilson in Against Happiness: In Praise Of Melancholia

So yes, this is the worst Christmas that I’ve ever had. But it is still Christmas.

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