When I think back on what Christmas means to me, it seems a little different than what it seems like it must mean to others. Others talk about family and dinner, and opening presents in the morning, and sure, I have all of those memories, too. But when I think about Christmas in a general sense, I think about laying on the couch in the living room alone with the Christmas lights on, and thinking about the Nativity story. I guess I still had faith back when I was a kid, and believed in the mysticism and spirituality of the whole matter. While I didn’t retain that faith, it still remains a time when I reflect on Christmas’s past, and I’ve had some good ones, from a dinner with some friends of my sister in Northern Georgia who were all total strangers to me, to having a Christmas dinner in a bar in Albuquerque, again, with total strangers.
My parents were big on family dinners, and family midnight mass, and stuff like that, and I suppose that’s an important part of just how I was raised. But to me, Christmas is going in the other room and getting away from family to reflect quietly on things, first, and maybe having dinner with strangers, more than it is being with family for another sort of sometimes feeling forced gathering.
Merry Christmas, however you spend it, and whatever it means to you.