Monday, December 05, 2011

Magic and Wonder

This Sunday, I went to church. I know, SHOCKING. (On the one hand, I'm joking because, well, I'm Christian and I grew up going to church and I have not given up on these things. On the other, I've been absolutely AWFUL about going lately. I'm working on that.)

The sermon was on, not surprisingly, Christmas. It was interesting; I'd just read the thread on Ravelry about someone telling their stepchild that there was no Santa, and the sermon was on the question, "Have you been good?". In the Rav thread, some people talked about how Santa was awful, a way to force kids to be good by manipulation and an example of how parents lie to their kids. Which made me sad. I don't remember Santa ever being that to me. Santa was... pure magic. Something utterly wonderful that I couldn't and shouldn't understand. I don't remember threats of "If you're not good, Santa won't bring presents." Instead, I remember lying awake, listening as hard as I could for the sleigh bells my beloved babysitter had told me she'd heard (I may have passed this on to kids I babysat). Being so excited I couldn't sleep. Believing that *anything* could happen.

Anyways, so the sermon was on how it should be less about whether or not you'd been good (the children's sermon made the excellent point that everyone was a mix of good and bad), and more about who you follow. We all screw up. Every day I feel like Jiminy Cricket on "Once Upon a Time" (Amazing show, btw. Watch it. WATCH IT NOW.). I see so clearly the person I want to be; and I so often fail. (Dude at teh Christmas party. You were annoying, but I was mean. I'm sorry.) Does that mean Santa (or God) is going to take all my presents away (or smite me)? I hope not. A part of what I believe is forgiveness, and accepting we all fail and we all get back up and try again. And a religion should support that.

And at the bottom of Christmas is love and experiencing the unknowable. And to me, that's what matters about Christmas. It's not that I get presents; one of my favorite parts of Christmas is singing while candles are lit at the Christmas Eve service. It is so beautiful and mystical and beautiful. I tear up every freaking year. I love being with family. I love feeling that peace and calm and joy. I love feeling that magic that, even if I no longer hear sleigh bells, pervades the season.