Being a Southern California girl, my Christmases never really looked the way they were “supposed to”. Most Christmases were warm (80ish degrees). Sweaters where warn by people who were truly interested in sweating. I grew up keenly aware that (for SoCal dwellers) scarves are merely a fashion statement with zero (maybe negative) true utility. A chilly and white winter wonderland, a horse drawn sleigh and anything seemingly wintery were all pieces of my annual Christmas fantasy; never reality.
I know that a huge part of my Christmas weather script is securely attached to romance. I’ve always been a dreamer and a romantic fantasist. I don’t like to think of romanticizing as a girly thing, but more a human thing. All of us live life desiring connection, longing to be noticed, wanting to be wanted and needing to feel that others appreciate and love us. My fantasies never involved isolation. Although, if we’re being honest, the daily grind of motherhood makes me long for it...a little. Something about baring children and being surrounded (ALL OF THE TIME), births a desire for a bit of isolation and obscurity.
But, back to Christmas. To me, Christmas has always seemed like the most romantic holiday ever! WAY more romantic than Valentines Day. Christmas time conjures up images of cuddling in front of crackling fires, warm houses with chilly outsides, twinkling lights, cheery music, amazing, inviting and tasty smells, fanciness and of course there’s the gift giving. Yes, at times, the hunt for "that gift" can seem excessively consumeristic, but excesses aside, gift giving requires intentionality. Sometimes the consideration is ever-so-slight, and then sometimes a gift can reveal a spectacular amount of love and care.
It would require quite a bit of effort to deny the romance of Christmas. Hollywood and that cheesy Lifetime Movie Network have made at least a million and one (some good, most corny) movies that cause us to simultaneously weep like babies, roll our eyes and possibly gag a little. But all these movies wouldn't exist if they didn't resonate with us. We (humans) are passionately romantic people! Why?? Why are we so captivated by the idea of romance; particuarly Christmas romance?? I think it’s because we have a God who’s the original romantic. We’re so engrossed by the idea of Christmas and romance because THE Christmas event was the most romantic gesture in all of history. It revealed a SPECTACULAR amount of love and care (for us). Through the birth of Jesus, God moved heaven and Earth for us…just to be with us. He sacrificed everything because we were/are worth it to him. What really astounds and overwhelms me is that he asks for nothing from me and from us in return (Romans 5:8). There’s nothing more heart wrenchingly romantic than that. He loves us! He wants us! He cherishes us…just as we are!
Writer and fellow traveler on the road of life.