Like most people, I have expectations for Christmas: spending time with family and friends, giving gifts, reaching out to others, enjoying festive food at advent gatherings, and so forth. Much of my Christmas spirit is triggered by sights, sounds, and smells that conjure up happy memories of Christmases past.
What if we were removed to another culture that knew nothing of Christmas, that offered none of the customs that we are familiar with and lacked the resources needed to replicate the Christmas sights, sounds, and smells of our traditions?
What if we needed to essentially start over in establishing the celebration of Christmas? What would we jettison? What should we adapt to the reality of our new culture? What could we interject that has been missing or lacking?
Although few of us will ever be relocated to a culture that knows nothing of Christmas, it still might be a good idea to seriously contemplate these questions, essentially reconfiguring how we do Christmas so that it is more meaningful and has fewer superficial expectations.
Christmas, at its roots, is a spiritual celebration. We would be well-advised to reclaim those roots, to reimagine Christmas in a fresh and new way.