It’s Christmas Eve! People rush around in America buying gifts spending way too much money and why? Because our culture pumps money into advertising and marketing. It’s all about more! It’s commercialism!
What does your Holy days or the way you celebrate Christmas look like?
What would you want your Holidays to look like and feel like?
Here’s my idea of Christmas and the reality of how I still attempt to celebrate it ….
Earlier in another life, I lived in Bavaria, in a place where people were more important than the money or the gift. I cherished the way Christmas was celebrated.
Gifts were something given in your shoes as you left them outside your flat or home on the Eve of St. Nicholas – December 6th. These gifts were generally nuts, candy, oranges – something useful and festive.
On Christmas Eve, this was the day to cut down your Christmas tree, dripping still with new fallen snow and trimmed to go into the stand and be adorned by all to Christmas carols, with real candles and a few bobbles. Candles to be lit in the evening, after a family and friends shared meal, after midnight Mass and walking home through the snow in joyful reverence.
No stockings, no expensive gift giving, practical gifts might be exchanged Christmas morning. Practical as in a new jacket, pair of boots, scarf or gloves, or perhaps something homemade. One year, my daughter made me a tie-dyed silk scarf (I cherish this and still wear it today).
This Christmas Eve, I share this story that it might live on and give one pause, that Christmas is more than the gift-giving.
This year my husband and I, gave gifts to organizations that were near and dear to us, MANNA Foodbank, World Vision, Next Step Recovery, Gratefulness.org, Hospice, St. Jude’s. We asked that others not give us the gift of things, rather, make a donation to one of their favorite organizations. We baked, traveled a bit to see relatives and friends, share a meal and walk through the woods sharing stories and loving each other.
Tomorrow is Christmas Day, and God-willing, we will attend Mass in the morning to celebrate Christmas singing hymns of joy. A time for silent reflection and another walk in the woods. A time to visit more family and friends. Perhaps bring a traditional dish to share – like spefe-his and Lebkuchen.
May your Holidays be what you want in your heart!
Liebe immer and Peace to all in the days and year that follow!