What Christmas Means to Me

 I love Christmas.  I love colored lights and decorated trees and shiny packages and peppermint mochas and cookies and carols and the Rudolph cartoon.  I love buying presents and getting presents.  I took my grandmother to see The Nutcracker at the ballet as her gift, and that was wonderful.  

I like the spirit of generosity and hope that accompanies this season.  I also like the more "commercial" aspects of Christmas.  For me, it’s not a holiday about religion.  For the longest time, I struggled with that.  I wouldn’t sing along with religious carols, and the religious verses in more secular carols annoyed me.  I resented the people who resented people like me removing the "Christ" from Christmas.  

But even when I was young, and I believed in all of the Christian mythology I’d been taught, it still wasn’t about really about religion for me.  It was always about hope and beauty in the darkest time of the year.  It was about Santa, who I still believe in just enough that songs like "Santa Baby" make me shudder.  And even though I don’t identify as a Christian anymore, I still think that the Christmas story is a beautiful one.  

I’m okay with singing along, now.  I don’t feel like I’m lying when I do.  Even if I’m not celebrating Jesus, I’m still celebrating what his story stands for.  Hope.  Love.  Family.  

And, of course, presents.  

Merry Christmas, everyone.  I hope you have a fantastic holiday season, no matter how you celebrate it.  

About Jamie

Jamie Lackey lives in Pittsburgh with her husband and their cats. She has over 160 short fiction credits, and has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and Escape Pod. She has a novella and two short story collections available from Air and Nothingness Press. In addition to writing, she spends her time reading, playing tabletop RPGs, baking, and hiking. You can find her online at www.jamielackey.com.

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