The year that wouldn’t end is fast approaching its end. Christmas is a mere two weeks away, and, for the one hundred millionth time this year, we will all describe it as being “unlike any other” Christmas. Families will largely be separated, massive public celebrations will be canceled, and nobody will feast on roast beast. Sorry, couldn’t resist a little Seuss.
It’s true, though, that like Easter, the 4th of July, Halloween, and Thanksgiving before it, Christmas in 2020 is going to be a powerful reality check on just how much we’ve been taking for granted over the years. The temptation is to think about all those things we’ll be going without this year, but I want to keep that Thanksgiving mindset rolling. Even though this Christmas will be different, it doesn’t have to be less real. So many of the things we’ve come to associate with the celebration of Christmas are not, in fact, the essential aspects of the holiday itself. We don’t need them, but we have probably, consciously or not, largely come to think that they are.
Now, this is not a post about the joys of a minimalist Christmas. I’ll leave that to people who could discuss that with sincerity. I am, however, saying that while much about this Christmas will be difficult, it need not be crushingly so. In truth, Christmas isn’t about the food, the presents, or even, dare I say it, family. I’m not in any way, shape, or form trying to dismiss the importance of family at the Christmas celebration, but merely intended to say that all these things, even family, are at service of the coming of Christ, not the other way around. While we welcome Him differently this year than any year of my life to this point, on the morning of December 25, 2020, I know that I will be able to say, “He came all the same.”