Oh Come, Oh Come

As a child, we never celebrated Christmas.

Well, let me clarify that. We had a Christmas tree and all kinds of tinsel. We also received Christmas gifts and sang about Santa Claus.

But we never celebrated Jesus.

It was a purely secular holiday for us. The church tradition in which I grew up believed celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday was a sin so, we didn’t. As a child, it was all I knew but there was something deep within me that struggled with leaving baby Jesus out. I could not have articulated that at the time, but looking back I can still feel the longing, the burning in my chest when I heard “O Holy Night” or “Away in a Manger.” I would watch the Vatican’s Christmas Eve Service on the tiny TV in my bedroom, staying up late into the night as the pageantry and grand life-sized Nativity captured my imagination and I wondered what could be so wrong about it?

What could be so wrong about celebrating the birth of the Son of God?

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