the night two days (in NZ) before Christmas… and all through the house world, not a creature was stirring (well, that’s just wrong!) and every Kiwi (and probably Australian too) was hard at work baking a pavlova (staple Christmas food Downunder). Me? I have no pav to bake, and my contribution to Christmas dinner can’t be made until the day. So I’ve been writing and here’s my Christmas post…
You maybe thinking that I’m a week early on setting New Year Resolutions, as is the usual practise for many people. I’m not though. I don’t do New Year Resolutions because they never seem to last, and I never seem to be enthusiastic enough. But as Christmas has approached I’ve realised that I’ve quietly been setting Christmas Resolutions instead. The great thing about Christmas Resolutions, in case you didn’t know, is that they come bearing a little Christmas magic with them. A perfect way to make sure they come true.
So here they are. Completely unrelated, but of importance to me…
Christmas Resolution #1
I believe (again) in the magic of Christmas!
I admit that I gave up on the magic of Christmas a while back. Actually, I had almost given up on any Christmas. I didn’t enjoy it, couldn’t really see the point, and just hoped it would be over sooner rather than later… with as little pain as possible. But actually, Christmas is kind of cool. There’s the Christian Christmas Nativity story, which I’ll get to in a minute, but there is also Santa Claus and reindeers…
I’ve been watching a few Christmas movies lately, my favourite being the one my friend Kathy very kindly sent to me. That is ‘Miracle on 34th Street‘. It makes me sad when children, through the ideals of their parents usually, are taught to believe that Santa Claus is not real. I think those children miss out, on a lot. I think it’s good for children to use their imagination and experience such tales.
I can remember when local television stations used to track the progress of Santa around the globe. What amazed me was just how Santa made it around the whole globe in just one night. Well I understand that better now and it helps that some places don’t celebrate Christmas, so he can zip past those places. But again, it is sad that those children (and adults) miss out on the magic of Christmas.
So what is this magic of Christmas. I think we need to get away from it being about gifts and start to see it as being about spreading peace, joy and love around our whole globe. If each person, adult and child, could have a piece of that this Christmas, then I think we’d be going a long way. And if it could apply to the whole world, and not just those of certain religions, then that too would be a great move to seeing the world be kinder to each other. Now I believe that is something Santa Claus would support. Throw in a few reindeers, and a bit of mistletoe, and we’d be getting somewhere.
One more point on the magic of Christmas. For a few years now I have been aware of a debate within the Christian church of whether the virgin birth (at Christmas) was really a virgin birth. I was raised in a Christian home and spent a good chunk of my life as a practising Christian (although I’m not now). The Christian story of Jesus’ birth was what I was raised with. Santa Claus took a very definite second place, and I know that many people reading may also see it this way.
So what of this virgin birth? Was Jesus’ mother really a virgin? This is far from a theological stance(my argument would probably not hold up anywhere) but I’ve come to my own conclusion that if I can believe in the magic of Christmas, then I can believe in the virgin birth. Maybe it takes a little imagination, but imagination is a very good thing. And why should we confine it to children believing in Santa? In my mind, it is sad when we limit our experiences to what we see as literal.
So yes, I believe in the magic of Christmas, including the virgin birth.
Christmas Resolution #2
I support the survival of the rhinoceros (and I did tell you these were unrelated!!)
It broke my heart a few weeks ago when I read that the black rhino as a species is now extinct. Rhinos are wonderful animals. In my mind they are part hippo, part dinosaur and part unicorn (yes, I did say unicorn). That spells a wonderful mix. The thought that we as human beings have killed off a species because ‘we’ wanted the ivory from their tusks, is a tragedy. It’s happening to elephants too, another animal I like, but I won’t get side tracked. Why can’t we salute the rhino? Why can’t we put an end to the hunting, and celebrate the unicorn in the rhino. That little bit of magic. If you look closely you’ll probably see a rainbow too.
One species are extinct but we can’t afford to lose more. As for me, I will do what I can to support their survival. What about you?
Christmas Resolution #3
I must stop crossing oceans!
This third resolution comes on the basis of the quote I read some months back and knew instantly that it was ‘my‘ quote for 2013. Anyone else might read this quote and think “oh, that’s nice advice” but after this year, it is imperative that I get on board with it… and not on board a plane either. I did something like 75 hours (there and back) of that before I learnt my lesson).
The quote is:
“There comes a point when you have to stop crossing oceans for people who wouldn’t even jump puddles for you.”
I have no idea who uttered these wise words, but I’m sure they were speaking metaphorically, and not literally. Only I could do this literally, crossing many, many oceans (and lands) before I read this quote. Sure, you can say I was in love and had my head in the clouds. It’s true. But from now on I check first on the ability of the person in question to ‘jump puddles‘. I checked many things, but alas, I forgot to check whether he would jump a puddle for me. Even if he’d lay down his coat in a puddle so I could walk over it (as I remember my Dad telling me that a gentleman would).
If they won’t jump puddles for me, my feet are staying firmly on kiwi ground. And I expect them to jump big puddles too.
That’s the end of my resolutions. There’s no point making so many that you can’t keep up. New Year Resolutions are made to be broken, but these Christmas ones are firmly embedded in my mental ‘it’s happening‘ list.
So sit back, look out for Santa Claus and his reindeers flying past. Oh, and keep a very big eye out for any flying rhinoceros. I think that would be a sight to see, but also one to perhaps avoid if you can. Have a lovely Christmas. Forget the stress of families and money and food (especially for those of us who battle eating disorders and know this time of the year is the absolute worst). Have a little magic instead. Have a little peace.
And while you’re about it, check out the wonderful Facebook page where I got the image from. It is I Create My World: a Children’s Book of Affirmations A big thank you to Connie for her permission to use her work.
“Christmas magic is silent. You don’t hear it—you feel it, you know it, you believe it.”
― Kevin Alan Milne, The Paper Bag Christmas
- Virgin Births More Common Than Most People Think (downtrend.com)