Yes, it's that time of year when I revel over the Son of God becoming man so children could get thousands of dollars in unneeded presents. (I buy my nieces books because I'm the un-fun aunt.)
Who exactly decided that Christmas was just for the benefit of children? Okay, I'll grant that a baby is involved, so the inclination to involve children (especially the small ones) seems natural. And I'll also grant that, when I was at home with my mom going through old Christmas ornaments, I picked the ones for myself that evoked that good ol' feeling of Christmas nostalgia. But being part of the infertile community, I know there are people who feeling unbearably sad because they don't have children to share Christmas with. I think I understood that feeling when I was Episcopalian a million years ago, but now that I'm Orthodox I know something with certainty:
The Nativity of Christ is for everyone and worthy of celebration by everyone.
Am I callous for saying that? Has my acceptance of being childfree caused me to lose my empathy with those who mourn? That's really for you to decide. My opinion is unlikely to be changed by much of anything.
But before you slam your computer shut (unless it's a desktop--please don't do that) and curse the god cruel enough to make me and give me internet access and a blog, consider my very recent revelation. I write a blog post about Christmas every year because I don't have kids, I'm unlikely to have kids, and I don't particularly want kids anymore, yet I still believe that I have both the right and the responsibility to celebrate Christmas. But I don't. That Christmassy nostalgia from picking through childhood ornaments was still fresh on my mind as I sat in a salon with my glasses off and my hair under a plastic cap slowly turning black, and I turned to Chris and said, "Can we get a real tree?" It's one week to Christmas and we haven't decorated. We're unlikely to this year. We didn't last year. Two years ago, we took a plastic tree out of a box, put it together, and didn't even put ornaments on it. Chris doesn't even want to bring that tree in from the garage (apparently it's a pain in the butt to get through the door). Will I even wrap presents this year, or will I just stuff them in gift bags? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! I'm waiting for kids that I know will never happen!! I want a real tree and snowflake-shaped lights and a wreath on the door! What am I waiting for?!
If I have my way, we'll put the artificial tree on the curb with a "Free to Good Home" sign on it and be done with it and all artificial trees for good. We'll look even more like the neighborhood scrooges than ever. And we'll get on with life and celebrate Christmas without kids. Because we can--and should.
That wasn't much of a rant. Terribly sorry to not be as acerbic as last year. Perhaps I'll be in the proper spirit next year.