The word’s loaded with baggage. I hear “Christmas” and what goes on in my head is something like this:
“Christ-gottabuythepresentsandstartmakingcookieswhereismyrollingpinmylististoolongwhatabouttheadventwreathgottastart thecountdownfindsomecandlespartysaturdaypartysundaypartykidsschoolwheredidIputthesantahatbalancemycheckbookfindsomeextramoneytimeoffpaythebabysittergotochurchspendtimewithfamilyarewegoing ttocallawaythisyearlightsmusicstockingsfireplacedecorationscleancleancleanwrappingpapertapescissors-mas”.
Say Christmas to anyone and there’s likely to be a reaction elucidating the stresses, the expense, the tiresome relatives, the commercialism. The lists of parties, the lists of presents, the lists of supplies that, a day later, are just ribbons and torn paper.
I want to simplify my semantics of the word. The event that Christmas celebrates was a simple birth. Something commonplace, something that has happened millions of times since. Something that echoed in time and continues to influence people even now. With so much more significance than we’re even able to express.
So this year I am eschewing the extra. I’m going to find ways to return to the night with the great big star, to the night with the young mother making do with so little. To the simplicity of a baby in the straw, to the simplicity of a new life.