I love God with all my heart. I have for as long as I can remember. He is the reason I am still alive today. But, for many years, I have had trouble with how we celebrate His human arrival into this world.
Since the kids have grown and left, we don't have a tree with decorations or twinkling lights to welcome twilight. Did you know that both the tree and the lights we originally brought into the house to keep demons away? First because it was 'magical' that a pine tree was still green in winter and later it was lit up with candles to make sure the bad spirits saw it and were appropriately scared away. Of course, that has evolved into different meanings over the years--like the lights representing Jesus, the Light of the World--but that doesn't erase the pagan origins of the tradition and that goes for Halloween, too.
Also, for me, Christmas coming in the heat of summer--after so, so many years of picture perfect cold weather holidays--it just doesn't seem right to kill a tree and bring it inside until it turns brown. And, even after 9 Christmases here, I am still caught off guard, occasionally, by hearing a Christmas song on the radio in the car when the AC is on full blast.
Hubby and I don't exchange presents and haven't for several years. First off, I hate surprises. And secondly, we buy what we want during the year, whether it's a simple or huge. Of course, we buy what we need, too, and never gave the kids 'necessary' things for Christmas presents because I always detested them. Sorry, Mom. I tried to act happy about the clothes but deep down I knew it was just because Dad was cheap and I wasn't the favorite.
Another thing. Your friends don't give each other presents on your birthday. The presents are suppose to be for the one who is celebrating their entrance into this world. 'The spirit of the season' seems a pitiful grasp at straws for a reason to go overboard to cram all the 'good tidings' and 'good will toward men' into a few weeks. We should be giving Jesus the gifts for His birthday and the only one He wants is your heart. And, I'm pretty sure He would want you to be nice to people all year round.
The final reason I have so much trouble with celebrating Jesus just one day is that I am grateful to Him every day of my life and I tell Him so quite often. I can't find the gumption to turn it up a notch for one long day when I am so thankful the other days of the year.
Here they call the time of year when kids are home from school for the summer and parliament is adjourned for the holidays the 'silly season' because there isn't much real news so silly things like hoaxes and such are 'reported.' At first, I found that odd. But then I realized that it applies all over the world for this time of year. People do and buy and say things that they wouldn't ordinarily do or buy or say the rest of the year. It makes much more sense to show the 'Christmas spirit' all year round as a gift to the One who is celebrated. Go the extra mile, make the 'special' gift, do a good deed when it's needed--not just at Christmas time.