In 30 years, I've sat through a lot of Christmas services, a lot of church musicals, and heard the story about Jesus being born time and time again. It's easy for me to see why the kids didn't want to go to church that morning. But I think a lot of that has to do with the delivery. For example, I don't really know anyone who complains about Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown being on year after year. And Linus drops the whole Christmas story in maybe a minute in that whole movie. Every time I watch it, it feels completely genuine and leaves me with a sense of wonder and awe I don't often get from going to church. In fact, I think the arguement can be made that Linus's take on the story is one of the best versions of Jesus' birth out there, second only to the Gospel of Luke. Anyone can watch, and I don't think I've ever met anyone who's offended by it. It's everything good about the holidays.
But we don't have to keep telling the same story over and over again. Merry Christmas Charlie Brown would've been pretty worthless if all we got is Linus monologuing. And variety is the way to go for me, so I've linked some stories for Christmas you might dig. I stayed up 'til the midnight hour reading Matt Wallace's Failed Cities Monologues: Hath a Darkness at Variant Frequencies, which was an excellent way to start off the holiday. I've also discovered that there's new Mur Lafferty and Greg Van Eekhout Christmas stories on Escape Pod, so it's a very nice Christmas indeed. Because stories are what Christmas is all about to me.
Last night, we brought in Christmas by hitting our church's Christmas Eve service. It's probably one of Emma's favorite type of services all year long because you get to sing Christmas Carols in it (although Claire was a little disappointed we didn't sing Up on the Rooftop at church. And after singing the First Noel, she wanted to sing Yeswell).
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone!!!