As our seasonal decorations evolve from autumnal to sparkly, and as we accumulate special gifts for loved ones and indulgent desserts and appetizers for all of the holiday parties headed our way, I am happy to have a moment of pause. This year I am thinking of the Christian reasons to celebrate, of course, but also of the pagan traditions that have carried over into modern culture. Maybe it's Oklahoma's changing weather patterns that have me feeling all contemplative... Or maybe it's the fact that this year I have more friends than ever who don't particularly subscribe to a rigid Christian label. Or maybe it's that in two days I will trepidatiously get my first spray tan thanks to a bottom-dollar coupon on Living Social I bought a thousand years ago. Whatever the cause, I am simmering in thoughtfulness about why we do the wintry-Christmassy things we do.
I don't have too giant of a message with this you guys, only a little reminder and encouragement to go ahead and celebrate things your way, according to your own heart. Pull out all the stops! But don't waste precious time and energy criticizing how others celebrate. Or how they don't. The things we do are supposed to be joyful and loving, life-affirming acts, not critical and obligatory and demeaning to others. Or to yourself. And certainly, traditions are at their best when they are upheld deliberately and lovingly. Don't you agree?
"We have just enough religion to make us hate,
but not enough to make us love one another."
So if you have a friend or neighbor who decorates a tree but doesn't use an Advent wreath or nativity scene, relax. There is still enough Christmas cheer for everyone. And if you are one of those sweet souls who cringes at this time of year because of the inevitable religious guilt trips, despair not. True Love isn't about that. Go ahead and keep your personal winter traditions, whatever they are. Let them bind you to your past and comfort you for your present. And everyone come to the lazy W for some hot chocolate by the fire! If this winds ever dies down we will be open for bonfiring business. And Christmas caroling. Because these are some of my traditions.
Live lovingly and
Wish Me Luck with my Spray Tan!