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AnnieG

Christmas Is Coming

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Christmas has remained a time of gathering together and of course thankfulness and gifts to the grandchildren. We do this mainly out of custom but i don't really celebrate it as the birthday of Jesus or attend church on that day. Today we are gathered together about 30+ in number to share together a wonderful turkey dinner and fellowship and just be thankful for life here in general .

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I find Christianity much easier to understand when one starts at Pentecost and walks the cat backward towards Christmas. Starting at Christmas too often leads to a dogmatic and superstitious understanding.

 

The meaning of Christmas for me is in an omnipotent, omnibenevolent, impassable God laying aside his divinity in order to experience pain, temptation, doubt, suffering, ambition, human limitations inter alia and igniting a new and more intimate relationship with mankind. An awe inspiring sacrifice orders of magnitude larger than the crucifixion.

 

Christmas was the first step which eventually enabled God to exist within my conscious, rational mind.

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For me now, Christmas means a time for community, catching up with friends and family, celebrating relationships and enjoying people's company. Celebrated with much food and often a little too much alcohol, it's a time to relax and reflect on who and what we have in our life and to make the most of things. Where I live it is usually about 35-40 degrees Celsius on Xmas Day so we are usually lying by the pool or we walk down to the beach. This time of year just has a relaxed and chilled feel about it, so I really enjoy the wind down time from our otherwise busy lives. We still have young sons (12 & 10) so it is also a lot about gifts and giving and playing around.

 

The dark side of Christmas is the loneliness and sadness experienced by many who don't have friends, family or often much in their lives, so we do try to volunteer and/or donate to local charities in a small way. Suicides usually spike around this time of year so I try and consider others much less fortunate than ourselves.

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I'd forgotten that Thanksgiving pops up right now..

 

 

For me Christmas is complex. I do enjoy singing along to Christmas carols and sacred music. I like setting up a tree at home. At times I think of the build up to Christmas in terms of the pressure to fit gift shopping, card writing & packing for a holiday into a busy routine. For us it signals the early part of a 6 week school holiday -'the Christmas holidays'- for the kids, and nowadays I worry how I will fit that around my work schedule. Some aspects of my Christmas are similar to yours Paul -my sons are 10 & 13, and in NZ I've always spent the day at the beach - my parents are at their beach cottage by then.

 

Burl, that's a wonderful expression of faith.

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Christmas for me is the birth of Christ consciousness, a consciousness in its infancy beginning to search for the rationale upon which it is established. It is a time for reflection, travel and being with people and family usually traveling to a new location.

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For me ... Christmas [and religion] is like training wheels on a kiddie's bicycle.

 

I have managed to let go of religion ... but I am rather attached to the paraphernalia associated with Christmas. It helps me be aware with the connection with my fellow beings and the unfolding universe in general.

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