Christmas, hope and belief 21/12/2013
Our son came home and told us he was going to be a King in his school Nativity play which was about the midlife crisis. Further investigation at the school office led me to discover it was actually called ‘The Midwife Crisis’. Picking him up at the end of school a couple of nights later he couldn’t stop laughing and told me that at a practise of the songs in the play the music teacher had asked them all to pick their favourite one. His friend had misheard and thought she meant favourite song in general and when his hand shot up in response to her question ‘Who would like to perform their favourite song?’, she picked him and he got up and performed a perfect rendition of ‘Gangnam Style’, moves as well my son tells me. ‘Awesome’ apparently. So we have been singing carols at the tops of our voices, especially ‘We three Kings’ which our son has taken as his personal theme tune while proudly announcing he is ‘King 3’ in the play. We felt suitably abashed as we couldn’t immediately tell him what the names of the three kings were, and which King carried what gift. Wikipedia helped out a lot at this point. Yet more embarrassingly we also realised we didn’t know the words of ‘We three Kings’ after the first 2 lines, listening intently to a Christmas CD soon sorted us out on this lyrical deficiency. So all of this has got me thinking, ‘What does Christmas mean to me?’. Well I am loving ‘Hey Brother’ by avicii. I was held spellbound as I listened to it with our son and I could ‘feel’ every word, I sang it to him and meant them with all my heart. Why did I immediately link Christmas and listening to this song together you may well ask. I think it is because I felt emotional, and Christmas and emotions seem to go hand in hand for me. I look forward to Christmas, enjoy making the most of the build up to it as much as the day itself. It hasn’t always proved a happy time and I tend to carry a feeling of trepidation around with me about what the season will bring. I feel I am waiting somehow, that as the nights close in and the weather turns colder, I hold my breath somehow, feel all the emotions swirling around me, feel the hopes, the dreams, the expectations. I think about the past, I experience a sense of connection to the landscape, the moon, the stars, and the sleeping earth. I wonder at our life, our planet, our continuing sense of belonging to the rhythm of the ages that saw the importance of a brighter light in the night sky. It’s as though I can feel the potential of Christmas, ‘It means something different to everyone and now I know what it means to me…’, said a character in ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’ DVD we were watching. Christmas may mean different things, at different times, in different ways to us all. I realise that I ‘believe’ in the hope it offers. Faith, hope, love, belief, all important, all intangible, all bound up in Christmas it seems. All with the ability to be applied equally to things outside of our self, as to our very self. So the love we have for others – and our ability to apply that love to our self. The potential to have hope, faith, and belief in other people – and in our self. That is the hope I believe Christmas offers us. The hope that we can believe in others and in our self.