This seems to be the question on everyone's lips at the moment. Quite frankly, I'm tired of it. Christmas is about two things. First and foremost it is about the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in human form, so that He could pay the ultimate price for our sins. That part of it I always appreciate. When I think about what He left to come to Earth with all the limitations of a human being, and then paying that ultimate price of a painful death and separation from His father, how can I not be thankful and want to celebrate. I can't. I really want to read that precious story to my students and have them know the truth of what Jesus did for them. Not really an option for me unless God provides it in an unusual way. So I'll just show them His love. He placed me in this school for a reason, and so I just trust that He will give me the opportunities that He wants me to have.
The second thing that Christmas is about is families. My family is thousands of miles away, and the best I can do this year will be a Skype video call (but probably just an audio call). The last Christmas I had with my family was 5 years ago, in December 2006, and was Dad's last Christmas with us. One day I'll have Christmas with my family again, but meanwhile God's called me to Christmas in Cambodia.
So what will I be doing for Christmas? There'll be a church service on Christmas Day, and I'll Skype the family, and hopefully I'll find some friends to spend some time with. I'll probably enjoy some guilt free reading time, maybe watch a Christmas movie, and hopefully cook someone a delicious Christmas dinner (or go out somewhere for a special meal). For most Cambodians it will be just another work day, even though it's Sunday this year as well.
Do I begrudge others their Christmas celebrations? Not at all. I'll be celebrating too, but in a quiet way.
As I've been writing this, I've also been thinking of those who cannot celebrate Christmas openly for various reasons. I can't begin to imagine what it would be like to not celebrate Christmas at all. There are people who can't. Now that would be really tough. I also pray that God will show me a way that I can make Christmas more special for someone else. Stay tuned to find out how I do end up celebrating Christmas. I'm sure I'll have a lovely day.
By the way, what are YOU doing for Christmas?