So far, the hardest part of our freegan Christmas is knowing there won’t be heaps of wrapped gifts tumbling out from under the tree on Christmas morning.
I’m contemplating wrapping up some empty boxes… Just for effect. You know, like those cardboard TVs and VCRs they use in furniture store displays, to create the desired illusion.
Somehow I have it in my head that piles of brightly-wrapped boxes and ribbons equate to a happy Christmas.
How about you? What images represent a happy, successful, blessed Christmas in your mind? Is it a table groaning under the weight of Christmas dinner? Is it a houseful of friends and family in matching Christmas sweaters and Santa hats? Is it the Christmas eve service at your church, with everyone singing carols together by candlelight, dressed in their holiday best? Or reading the Christmas story together by the fire as a family?
It’s important to examine these traditions, and our emotional responses to them because when our holiday traditions have the power to steal our joy, its an indication we have a soul-tie to that tradition that has nothing to do with the Christ of Christmas.
It’s something I’m testing in my own heart this season. If we have Christmas without gifts, or snow, or candy canes, does it still “feel” like Christmas to me? If my answer is no, then I’ve got my Christmas spirit established in things, not in a person. If there are no tangible gifts under the tree this year, will it still be Christmas-y?
That all depends on if I choose to celebrate gifts or celebrate Christ. Ouch.