I love Christmas. I know it's partly sentiment: all the great memories I have of when I was a kid and Mom and Dad went to so much effort to make our Christmases special and magical. We would come downstairs on Christmas morning and each find our pile of "Santa" presents on the couch in the parlour -- not to mention a huge pile of gifts from family members under the tree. I remember always feeling like I had got just what I wanted. One year I got a set of homemade Barbie clothes. I think Mom saw an ad for them in the paper and bought them from a lady who sewed. They were very simple, but I was thrilled with the little tube dresses made of sparkly fabric with shiny rick-rack along the top. That was one of the gifts I remember being really excited about.
As I grow older, the magical aspect is a bit less dominant, though. One reason for that is that Jonathan is a creature of habit, so for him the more like any other day Christmas is, the better. So our actual Christmas Days are very simple and quiet. But the spiritual meaning of Christmas takes on greater importance for me as time goes by. One thing I love about Christmas is the music. So I thought that I would post something each day about my favourite Christmas carols and songs. I wonder if there will be enough of them to take me to Christmas Day? I guess we'll see.
This morning at church we sang "What Child is This?"
1. What Child is this who, laid to rest on Mary's lap is sleeping?
Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet, while shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King, Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
2. Why lies He in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce Him through, the cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
3. So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh, come peasant, king to own Him;
The King of kings salvation brings, let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise a song on high, the virgin sings her lullaby.
Joy, joy for Christ is born, the Babe, the Son of Mary.
This song expresses how truly incredible it is that the Lord of the Universe took on human form and came into our world. That God could be, simultaneously, a tiny baby lying on his mother's knee AND the King before whom all other kings must bow is an awesome paradox. So our enjoyment of simple gifts like doll clothes is totally appropriate because it's a reflection of the joy that comes from knowing that GOD IS and that He loved us enough to come and be with us in the flesh.