And So This Is Christmas

Friend: 'Any plan for Christmas?'
Me : 'Nope. I think I will just go to the church'
Friend: 'Same here. Maybe I should just clean up my room, watch Sang Pemimpi. I also want to go for star gazing'.
Me: 'I guess it might be good, to have a real 'silent-night' Christmas'

It's christmas time and all around we can hear those typical Christmas songs played over and over again. O Holy Night, God Bless Ye Merry, Gentleman, in one CD with Last Christmas. Well, it maybe a loss or it could be a gain, when artists created Christmas songs without any philosophical thought on the born baby (arbitrarily celebrated on 25th December). Songs like Blue Christmas, All I Want For Christmas is You, Last Christmas, and even Christmas Song and Jingle Bells. They are nice songs with nice tune and they make you miss your family and beloved ones *snob.

It is a loss. Those songs simply put Christmas as a mark of seasonal holidays and celebrations. As a child, I think of Christmas as a time for shopping, gifts, new clothes and shoes, decorated trees, illuminations, a short speech of some short biblical prophetic verses and of course holidays. As a teenage girl, I welcome Christmas with anxiety (am I wearing perfect gown?), whimsical thought of mistletoe, unique card greetings, hectic and haste for extravagance parties and ceremonies, and maybe a little bit of (just a bit) of contemplation.

While now, I embrace Christmas (again) as a mark of the end of the year, and (again) holidays. It's the end of my contract, my job, and the beginning of series of wandering journey to come. It's the time to call all families (including the long ignored ones), emails writing, to delete messages from my cell phone inbox, to 'pay homage' to church. It's the time for some bogus 'love' celebrations, for some kids perform dance and drama for the sake of big grin on the old folks faces and sometimes for routine caroling. It's not wrong, though.

Since weeks ago, my friends has been ringing the ultimate question 'What do you plan for Christmas?'. I have been asking it too. So where's the savior, where's the sacrifice, where's the humility of being a mere human, where's the contemplation of grace, where's the praise for Divine humbleness? Where's the baby Jesus? If you're lucky you can find him on your church decorations, still lying on the manger.

It seems to me, we lose some Christ in our Christmas. Christ is only present in the wording: Christ-mas

The songs are not to be solely blamed. No, it's just a tiny part of this whole thing (I don't know what to call it) of worn-out, tiring Christmas. I can find some orientalism here :). It's totally pervasive. It's everywhere. It's your decorations, it's your longing for winter (most of us never even see snow shower, and many will never have the chance), it's your feeling of lunatic loneliness (is Christmas designed to be the time for family?). And its mine as well. But to condemn those pervasive 'western' cultures (you may call it) is the same pathetic orientalism.

So, anyway, what's the gain? Well, I can give you a long list of how fun it is to have this kind of Christmas. Holidays, new clothes, gifts. But that's what you call our loss, you may protest. That's it! I am driven to think of all those losses simply as my negative perspective (I have to admit, I can be very cynical -most of the times-). For now, at least, by realizing those losses (which came from my negative perspective) I come to the part where I start to think over the whole ideas of Christmas.

And so, my first attempt will depart from the above conversations between me and my friend. "I guess it might be good, to have a real 'silent-night' Christmas". It was (I'm 99% sure) a silent night. :)

ANYWAY, Happy Christmas and Happy Holiday, everyone!

~Welcome To Our World, by Michael W Smith~

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that you don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at hom

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God
Welcome to our world


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