Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Christmas traditions

I read an article by Julian Baggini in yesterday’s Herald about the true meaning of Christmas in 2008. Basically he argues that the use of the word true introduces an element of subjectivity, and so we need to remove it and then take the “Martian-eyed” view of Christmas, if we want to discover its meaning today. He concludes that the meaning of Christmas revolves around families.

Two thoughts occurred to me. Firstly, with families come traditions – some good, some… well, let’s say stuck in the past. We had our first family Christmas celebration yesterday with the Fish Wife’s family in Fishtown. It didn’t go entirely smoothly! The events of the day served to remind us that as we are now firmly embedded in our middle age, so her parents are now old… and things will have to change in the future.

The second thought was prompted by an entry over at A Sideways Glance, which prompted the thought that there is a community aspect to Christmas. This could be about the office parties, church events, or just friends getting together. Now if we read the biblical accounts of the first Christmas, it was basically a community event. There was no extended family for Mary, Joseph and Jesus – they were joined by fellow travellers, working shepherds, wandering magi.

Is there a point to all of this? Maybe it’s just to say that our traditions are not always what they seem (a theme that I’ll return to some time soon), but let’s make the best of them and

Have a happy Christmas.


lucy said...

happy christmas to you too!!

His Girl Friday said...

Happy Christmas, ER:)

nonprofitprophet said...

I never really thought about Jesus' birth as being a community event and that there were not extended family members there. Its true of course, just never thought about it like that. cool. Have a great new years ER. ~npp