Technically Troy

Ideas in the Net

Rediscovering Christmas through Today’s Noise

I don’t know about the whole “War on Christmas”, but I seem to be fighting my own battle on the homefront this year. Have you gotten in the spirit yet?

As a child, Christmas felt like everything and everywhere, didn’t it? But not just because of the presents for me. At least I don’t think so. I have fond memories of the fireplace roaring, Christmas tree glowing, and holiday lights outlining the walls of our darkened living room with my dad’s old 8-track playing old-time joyful classics for hours every night. There were nativity scenes with mangers and mentions of what the season was all about. Even if a little too old for Santa, I still believed in the magical feelings of the season. And even if a little too young to do much about it, hearing about couples walking in a winter wonderland filled my heart with romance.

Maybe it was just Perry Como’s soft melodies, but looking back it felt so joyfully peaceful.

Everything’s so loud now. Televisions blaring, computers beeping, and cell phones ringing everywhere we go. Advertisements screaming about what you have to buy right now or your kids will hate you, while horns honk over parking spaces as crowds battle over bags full of boxes. Talking heads politicizing, capitalists scheming, and everyone sensationalizing. Everything’s on the line and the pressure’s building. It’s a war now, with so many different battles just to make it through the season. Working harder, driving further, doing more but just not sure you’re getting anywhere except exhausted.

I have a suspicion that Christmas wasn’t so peaceful for our parents either, but mine sure did a great job making it feel that way to me. As the father of a 5-year-old, I wonder what her childhood memories will be. Then I realize it’s largely up to me to ensure she has great ones.

We still have one week until Christmas, and I’ve rededicated myself into making it special this year before it’s too late — and not just placing the winning bid on eBay for an annoying toy I couldn’t find in the store but knew had to be under the tree. The scene is set. Lights dimmed, a string of twinkling lights hung, candles lit, television unplugged, and MP3 player loaded with hours of festive tones. If the display didn’t read Michael Buble, I could have almost sworn I was back in my childhood memories for a moment.

Planning a family night out later this week, drinking hot chocolate and strolling through botanical gardens light displays. That was one of the first magical dates with my wife over ten years ago, walking in that winter wonderland I once dreamed about. Feeling inspired by recent stories of anonymous giving, as a family we’re also going to talk about what we could do to help and really embrace the spirit of giving.

And I’m going to write my parents a thank you note for giving me the Christmases I hope to redisover in the heart of my own child.


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