One of my earliest memories is of sitting in my family’s darkened living room and gazing up at our glowing Christmas tree, perfectly happy—no gifts needed. However, colorful heaps of Christmas gifts always marked my childhood holidays. My parents believed in observing our Savior’s birth and in making Christmas as festive as possible. We listened to Bible stories, baked enough treats for the entire neighborhood, and watched A Charlie Brown Christmas as we decorated the house. We sang in programs at church, ate far too much at family dinners, and reveled in being together. I grew up with the notion that everyone, everyone, loved to celebrate the holidays.
Fast-forward twenty years.
My husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together two months after our wedding. Actually, I did the celebrating. My sweet, adoring husband studied my Christmas list and my newly purchased Christmas ornaments intended for our tree, then said, “I don’t celebrate Christmas.”
Was he serious? I argued, “But your father owns a Christmas tree farm! And everyone at church is celebrating…”
“Christmas trees are a pagan custom from Germany, and my father is German,” my husband countered quietly. “Besides, the Lord was most likely born in the autumn, and I think the whole holiday is too commercialized, so face it: You’ve married Scrooge.” Continue reading