How has Christmas Eve changed? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
I am writing this early seeing as I am going to be going back to see my parents for Christmas this year. This leaves me thinking first about Christmas Eve. For me, there was a tradition to call someone in the family on Christmas Eve and be the first to say “Christmas gift!” I don’t remember where this started and why, but I have known it as long as I can remember and enjoy being the first.
Christmas Eve was often about getting together with friends and family. We used to get together with another family my mother helped out when she was younger so we were practically adopted into their family. We have stopped going though, but not because of bad blood. I do remember the last time I went though was when I walked in with my now ex-wife and announced our engagement.
After that, we went to my aunt’s house and when we walked in, everyone had a pile of presents. It was my grandmother, my aunt, my cousins, my parents, and any significant others. There were real gifts given, and then there were some gifts that we considered so bad we called out “Who would want it?!”
We no longer do that in our family. It’s not because of bad blood. It’s because my grandmother and my aunt and her husband have all died now. Things are just no longer the same. Ironically, I think I, the one who the “experts” said would do the least with my life, am the one who is furthest away. Everyone else as far as I know now has stayed in Tennessee.
In the past when I lived in North Carolina or Georgia, it was a bit tedious, but I could easily drive back to Tennessee. This is the first year I will actually be flying back. Last year, we did everything through the Amazon Echo my parents and I both have. I had one already and gifted them one when I left so we could stay in touch that way and they could see me.
Last year, my folks wanted to make sure that I had enough money for my education, their first priority. This year, before I even head back, I have already been given two gifts by people I know here on campus who know I am going back. I also went to the campus Christmas party.
Christmas has changed, and I have changed with it. As a young boy growing up, Christmas Eve was about the gifts. It was incredible to walk in on Christmas Eve and see all those gifts for me. Now would it be nice to still get a lot like that? Sure. Who doesn’t like getting a gift?
I have an Amazon wish list (In case anyone is feeling generous), but I honestly have no idea what my family is getting me and it’s not the biggest deal to me. I will likely be fine with whatever I get. I also enjoy giving the gifts. My mother recently told me about how she got a package from me that has her Christmas gift in it, indicated on the package, and was telling a friend about it. She told her friend that I don’t usually ask what people want. I just get them what I think they would like or what I think they need. It actually works well for me as most people love their gifts and I love seeing them get them.
Yet what about my Christian views. Those changed too. Now the gifts really aren’t the main thing as I said. It’s remember why we’re here and spending that time with the people in my life. I will likely spend this Christmas season with my family, probably playing Trivial Pursuit with my Dad a few times, and watching Christmas movies and various clips on YouTube and other such things.
While a lot with Christmas has changed and I have changed, Christ has not changed. He is still the same and always will be. I spend plenty of time arguing with people who insist Christmas is pagan. They have a low view of redemption. Even if it was, which it wasn’t, Jesus still redeems it.
So when I get together, whatever anyone might think, no pagan god is being celebrated. Jesus is being celebrated. He always will be.
I hope you all enjoy the Christmas season and please do consider Deeper Waters for end-of-the-year giving. There is a link on the blog post below to become a member of Patreon. Please consider it.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)