Wrapping paper, glitter and baby Jesus

I’m actually getting pretty excited about Christmas this year. Five years at big w had kinda taken the fun out of Christmas for me, but it’s slowly creeping back. There’s still elements of the lead up to Christmas that are unpleasant, such as: family fighting over who gets to see who, when and where; people requesting you give them some present you either can’t afford or have a moral objection to; having to budget or risk going bankrupt; lack of sleep; mess; losing things; and “where on earth is all this glitter coming from?” You don’t even want to get me started on santa hats on anything and everything, candy canes, snowmen, chocolate reindeer, ah you get the point. I still don’t like the commercialisation of Christmas, shopping or wrapping presents or the increase in traffic cops, but I’m not exactly scratching my head thinking “can’t I just say thanks for being born Jesus, happy birthday and go on with life as normal” either.

It’s been great experiencing the Christmas season through the eyes of a baby. Things I’ve grown tired of are given a second chance. In Alexis’ eyes the trees, the tinsel, the ornaments, the presents, the nativity scenes, the lights and the bright t-shirts are all new. She is intrigued by all things shiny and flashing. Her young ears delight in carols, bells, and children playing happily. The look on her face was priceless when she tasted her first mango, as it was with her first ice cream, cup cake, and grape. She loves the feel of textured Christmas cards and although she hasn’t mastered unwrapping presents yet she got into the bag of unused wrapping paper rolls, finding them fascinating, and tasty…

All these things are good, but there are better things. I don’t have a problem with santa as such, but I think it is incredibly wrong that children are being told that a fat man who breaks into houses bringing toys is all it’s about. It saddens me that there are children who don’t know the story of Christmas because they are not being told, because their parents don’t know. I went to a Christmas party run by a church organisation and they didn’t even ment ion Jesus there! Hundreds of kids getting santa photos, no mention of why we give and receive.

Why do we as a nation celebrate Christmas if our televised carol services reference a new telephone repeatedly but don’t speak of the baby who came to save us from our sins? I am discouraged but I have not lost hope.

I am so proud of my baby for the fact that her favourite thing about Christmas is baby Jesus. Impossible you say? Well, no, and yes… We bought her a plush nativity scene. It is so great, it’s a stable, compete with an angle, donkey, sheep, wise men, shepherd, Joseph, Mary, a manger, and baby Jesus. All the pieces are fabric and removable, in fact most are puppets so you can reenact the nativity. Alexis loves the little baby. She carries him around with her and kisses him. Of course she also chews on his head… She is a baby after a ll… It is a sign of respect and love. She chews on her father and I all the time.

It seems more than a coincidence to me that she screamed her head off when we tried to put her on santa’s lap but she would squeal with delight and embrace the baby Jesus. Santa is different to what she sees everyday.We don’t wear clothes like that in Australia, he’s massive, loud, and what’s with the beard? This is intimidating to small children. Baby Jesus, on the other hand, is not scary. He is an itty bitty baby, like she is. It is easy for adults to overlook the baby in the manger, but personally I find it amazing that Jesus, son of God, chose to be born a baby. I watch Alexis getting frustrated when she can’t control her body how she wants. When she was first born she couldn’t even move her head. She was totally dependent on me. Imagine the son of God giving up all his power and making himself so vulnerable. Imagine the son of God.not being able to wipe his own bottom. Why did he do this? To become one of us. Each and every one of us has been born. He loved us so.much he wanted to be with us and live with us. We should never forget that. That is a reason to celebrate.

Christmas, Christ is born. When is the last time you really thought about that?