I am an adult who LOVES Christmas. I love the tree’s, decorations, baking & the Christmas movies made just for TV. I love the carols, crafts, Christmas books and getting together for a Christmas meal. The year I was pregnant with B1 I even put up our Christmas tree up in October because I was so excited
and I was hormonal, and it was another thing I could cross off my “to-do before baby comes” list. But I haven’t always loved Christmas.
Don’t get me wrong, as a child I looked forward to getting presents (what kid doesn’t?), but I don’t remember ever being caught up in the ‘spirit’ or ‘beauty’ of the Christmas season. Reflecting upon the change, I can see three significant events over my late teen and early adult years that transformed my view of Christmas.
1) My trip to Germany
I was so blessed to have been able to go on an exchange program with my highschool, spending 2months over the Christmas holidays in Germany. My parents made a deal with me that they would pay the airfare and I had to save up to pay everything else (which included a weekend trip to Paris & Berlin, costing around $800). So I got a part-time job, and then another job, earning $6 per hour, and worked and worked and saved and saved.
There were several special things about that Christmas that distinctly gave me a love for Christmas festivities.
The Christmas Markets: In the weeks leading up to Christmas they have Christmas Markets. We used to go afters school, so it would be either dusk or at night. The stalls were all decorated with lights and ornaments, there were smells of cooking foods and gluhwein (a spicy hot red wine) and often Christmas music. It’s the middle of winter, so you are wandering through the stalls all rugged up in your jacket, scarf and beanie and seeing Christmas decorations everywhere. It had such a magical feel. Can you imagine it?
Here are some pictures I’ve found on the web (mine are buried deep in a box somewhere at my parents place! oops!). You can click on the picture to go to their source.
My first Home-stay House: This may seem quite strange. The first friend I stayed with after arriving in Germany had heating in their house with a very distinct smell, like someone had been baking even when they hadn’t been. I have all these memories of coming into their house out of the cold and being struck with this amazing smell and feeling warmth and comfort, whilst seeing all of the Christmas decorations around the house. It was the same with many places there, but I now have this association of warmth and comfort with seeing Christmas decorations.
2) A new Reason for the Season
Two years later, I experienced another life-changing event that transformed my view of Christmas. I read the Bible and discussed Christianity for the first time as an adult. Finally understanding what I was reading, I made the decision to believe that it was real and became a Christian. Christmas therefore became a special time for me as I celebrated the birth of my Saviour, Jesus.
3) Becoming a Mum and Aunty
Since becoming a Mum and Aunty, there is a whole new element to Christmas: sharing the reason and wonder of the season with the next generation. It’s made me think more intentionally about my belief around Christmas and how I want my boys (and their cousins) to think and feel about Christmas. It’s so special to be able to share this time with the kids, and see their faces light up, especially as we sing songs about Jesus’ birth and give gifts to others!
What do you love most about Christmas?