Another Christmas Day is almost upon us. I imagine that I will enjoy spending the day with family and reflecting on the meaning of Christmas. However, it has occurred to me as I ponder Christmas Days past that apparently I have been doing Christmas wrong for quite a long time. I think about all the “traditions” we hear sung about this time of the year and I have realized that my celebrations of Christmas are not like everyone else’s.
According to the weather forecast, this year will not bring a White Christmas nor have the majority of my Christmases been white. There will not be treetops glistening nor children listening to hear sleigh bells in the snow. I do not roast chestnuts on an open fire nor do I ever recall doing so. I am pretty confident that I have never demanded that someone bring me figgy pudding or refused to go until some was provided. In fact I am not a big fan of figs, I am not sure I would eat the pudding if someone did, in fact, bring me some right now. I have not gone wassailing among the leaves so green – all the leaves are long gone from the trees in my yard and I am not sure what a wassail is. My halls have never been decked with boughs of holly.
As a child I don’t remember asking for my two front teeth for Christmas nor did I ever want a hippopotamus. I do not believe I ever saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus underneath the mistletoe. As a teenager I never went to a Christmas party or any other kind of “hop” to rock around the Christmas tree. I have never been in a one horse open sleigh; I have never conspired while dreaming by the fire, I do not know Parson Brown. I don’t think I have ever jingled even part of the way home and it is very seldom that I bring some corn for poppin’. I don’t ever recall wanting to live in a marshmallow world which sounds like a very sticky situation. I’ve never been to the feast of Stephen and I am not sure what country Good King Wenceslas was king of.
Christmas at my house was never celebrated for twelve days and my true love never gave me drummers, pipers, leaping lords, dancing ladies, milking maids, swans, geese, rings, birds, hens, doves, or even a partridge or a pair tree. Have you ever tried returning maids a milking without a receipt?
I guess I have it all wrong and just do not have the proper Christmas traditions. I was not there for that first Noel where angels were heard from on high. But like Longfellow, I have heard the bells on Christmas day and I have heard the old familiar carols play. Also I have seen, sadly, that hate is strong and indeed mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men. Longfellow did have some optimism and did not end the poem there. Which brings us to Christmas Day 2016 where if we listen we can still hear the bells peal loud and deep to proclaim that “God is not dead, nor doth he sleep.” I still have hope that eventually the wrong shall fail and the right will prevail, that one day there will be peace on earth, good will to men. So with Christmas just a few days away, the world will continue to revolve from night to day and if I strain my ear, I can heat a voice, a chime, a chant sublime, of peace on earth, good will to men.