The Christmas period is a standard affair for me. Christmas tree up around 25th November, dinner with the immediate family on 23rd December, Christmas’ eve and Christmas day services in Church, Christmas lunch with my paternal relatives and dinner with maternal relatives. I love spending Christmas like this! It is truly the most wonderful time of the year for me. Judging from the way people’s countenance seems brighter and their demeanor seems more friendly during the Christmas period, I do not think I stand alone.
About a week ago, a friend and I were walking through a mall, when they started to play ‘Last Christmas’. Nothing unusual, it plays very often during this season. This time though, my friend pointed out how ‘unchristmas-like’ the song was. Have a listen to it; the lyrics are really quite sad.
I became more attentive to the lyrics of contemporary Christmas songs and realized that a good number talk about cold (translates to rainy in the Singapore context) and lonely Christmases. While the catchy tunes lead many to sing such songs while feeling warm and happy inside, the chilling lyrics dampens the spirits of those who find that the song resonates with their circumstances. For such people, Christmas can easily become the least wonderful time of the year as the pain of loneliness is intensified by seeing many enjoying the exact things that they desire, but lack.
For Christians, Christmas is the time that we remember that our God and role model, Jesus, out of His immense love, left heaven to come to earth in order to bring life in its fullness to man. The key themes are love and sacrifice.
If this is the spirit behind Christmas, then it seems that my family traditions are rather ‘unchristmas-like’. The traditions we currently keep are important and I fully intend to introduce them to my future family. However, as my family thought of the many foreigners who will spend Christmas away from their families, we realized the need for traditions that will bring Christmas joy to such people. My hope is to start a new family tradition where every Christmas, my family includes someone, who would otherwise be celebrating Christmas alone, in our activities and be a family of sorts to that person.
I believe that a big reason why Christmas is so wonderful is because we see many other people also having a wonderful time. New family traditions that transform Christmas into a wonderful time for a lonely heart will make Christmas all the more wonderful for each and every one of us.
Have a blessed, joyous Christmas!