It’s NOT the mall or presents or people or things;
It’s the joy of love and all that it brings.

It’s NOT the tree or ornaments or lights;
It’s the stars that shine the way in the nights.

It’s NOT the green or white or silver trees;
It’s being humble and getting on your knees.

So, let’s not celebrate what Christmas is NOT;
And remember the joy of all the love it’s got.

Since last Christmas, it was my year-long quest  to exorcise  all the trappings that got all wrapped-up and warped-up into my last 16 Christmases and, I believe, how most Americans of the 21st century celebrate the birth of Christ.

It became a quest this year because my core got lost in those relationship years mainly because I wasn’t with a Christian and, secondly, because I wasn’t sure how to celebrate it while respecting his faith. My ex thought Christmas was about trees, presents and parties. I love entertaining for the holidays and jumped in with both feet; by last year, I ended up lost in cleaning, laundry and cooking mostly for non-believers (New Testament believers,that is).

The surreal moment came on Christmas evening last year when I found myself  surrounded by non-believers singing Christmas carols at the top of their lungs so proud of how they sounded without so much as a smidgen of conscience about the prayers coming from their lips… a total contradiction to their own beliefs. I was stunned. I was also extremely tired which seemed to emphasize all-the-more the ludicrousness of that evening. See, one of the participants had actually complained about their landlord having decorated their premises for Christmas. Now that same person was singing Christmas carols. See what I mean?

Hence the need for my recent trip to New York City. Where else in the world could you overdose on lights, trees, Christmas crowds and an amazing performance to remind you through shock therapy what your core is. I totally immersed myself in the experience and finally found it at the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular… specifically their Nativity portion of the production. It was so unexpected, traditional and spectacular.

Funny thing is that no one who knew my quest and had seen it before told me anything other than I needed to see it. Mom and Pat (my best friend who couldn’t go) both knew I’d find it there. I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart for encouraging me to see it because I would NEVER have paid any amount of money to get caught in a crowd of people pushing into and then out of a concert hall. Nor would I ever pay money to see women kicking up their heels. It was my trust in these two women who know me so well that liberated my Christmas soul.

Thank you Mom and Pat. I and my Christmas sanity will forever be indebted to you both for loving and understanding me.

For the first time in years, I’ve put up my porcelain nativity scene with the angel tree topper hovering over the event. It’s on my bar where I can enjoy it every minute of the day. I also have a very small potted tree decorated with my 4th of July red, white and blue lights and mini-ornaments out on my front deck. Sweet.

There will not be presents. I give those I love whatever they need from me all year.

The only other thing I might do to celebrate the season, is to string popcorn and cranberries as I used to do with both kids when they were little. This time, it’ll be for the critters at the cabin and not ornamentation for a tree.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

The last time I remember celebrating Christmas... 1994