So perhaps to say that I don't like Christmas is an overstatement. I quite like Christmas as an idea, and as a season. Perhaps it's simply that society has ruined it for me.
You see, I love decorating for Christmas. I love nativity scenes; if they could stay whole in my house, I'd have dozens of them, all perfectly arranged (there is only one right way to arrange each individual nativity set, and once you find it, never move the figures, or else you'll ruin it forever). I love Christmas lights, especially driving down silent streets looking out at them, glittering in the darkness. I love sitting by firelight and candlelight, and reading some homey epic that makes you feel simultaneously quite daring and quite comfortably at home wherever you happen to be (I've only done this once or twice, but my future house will have a fireplace so I can do it lots). I adore curling up next to a window in a hoodie and thick socks, a cup of cocoa in hand, to read almost as much--and it has the added bonus of being quite splendid for acting out whatever I'm reading with my quite-slippery socks across hardwood floors...because who doesn't want to be a slippy-slidey version of Legolas defeating the Mumak?
I love dancing around to Christmas carols, or standing in an echoing chapel and singing a quiet version of Silent Night--I especially love dancing in the snow and belting out "Jingle Bells" or "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" at the top of my lungs. I love hearing about Mary, the simple Jewish girl who was chosen to give birth to the Messiah. I love learning new things about the beginning of Christ's earthly journey. I love thinking forward through that journey, seeing what this beginning would eventually achieve, how it would change the world.
Most especially, I love simply sitting, and thinking about this miracle.
Jesus, son of the Almighty God, become Emmanuel.
The Highest, Jehovah, Lord of Glory, I Am, the upholder of all things, the Alpha and Omega, ending and beginning.
The Wisdom, the Power, the Might, the Messenger, the Word, the Flesh, the Image.
Son of Man, Son of God, Prophet, Servant, Son.
Savior, the Same, the Lamb, the Shepherd, the Sacrifice.
The Bread, the Tree, the Living Water, the Rose, the Lily, the Branch.
The Light, Strength, Hope, a Refuge, Horn of Salvation.
The Rock, the Redeemer, the Foundation, the Cornerstone, the Temple, the Offerer, the Offering.
The Gift of God, God's Beloved.
The Way, the Truth, the Life, the Covenanter, the Witness.
The Head, the Ensign, the Captain, the Shield, the King, the Lord, the Crowned one.
All of that. All that he was. All that he will be forevermore. And he became a man. And not all at once, oh no. First he became a baby. A tiny, helpless, crying thing that can't even move on its own. That was what the Lord of the universe, a being beyond all human conception, became.
All for us.
And that, to me, is why I love the Christmas season most of all. Yes, it's not technically the time that Jesus was born. He wasn't born anywhere near what we call Christmas. And yes, "Christmas" is technically derived from some pagan festival until it was roughly made "acceptable" by the Catholic Church...but you know what? I don't really care. Because it is yet another chance to simply sit and marvel at how great my God is. And I'm not going to pass up a single reminder to do that.
My Peace, my Righteousness, my Lord, my Master, was made a helpless baby so that he might go to the cross.
Hark the herald angels sing
Glory to the newborn King