The Christmas story brings together many disparate people, a young couple from a small town and very ordinary background, foreign Magi come many miles from the east, shepherds living their lives on the edge of society, a Roman governor, even the Roman emperor plays his part and at it's centre, a tiny baby. Both Jew and gentile are represented, rich and poor, men and women, people who are the first in society and the last, educated and uneducated. The supernatural world comes into contact with the world of men, heaven touches earth and God enters the world as a vulnerable baby, bringing with Him hope.
If this isn't worth celebrating what is? I love this yearly reminder of Emmanuel - God with us, the reminder that change is coming into this dark world, that one day things will be different, that we ourselves can change. As well I enjoy the more secular sides of Christmas, giving presents to those I love, sending cards, decorating the house, preparing food, knitting Christmas decorations - there is nothing wrong with these things, but it is not all of Christmas.
This Christmas I am endeavouring to start making a nativity set, using Jean Greenhowe's pattern, starting with Mary and Jesus, so that in the midst of the goodness of Christmas can be the earth shattering good news of incarnation, so that I don't forget Jesus in the rush of parties and decorations and rich food. So I will enjoy the anticipation of Christmas and remind myself of why Christmas really is good.
Pictures: Fiddle faddle star, Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitters' Almanac; Mini mittens, Alan Dart's Advent Calendar; 0-566 Socks with Christmas pattern, Drops design