Presents opened, turkey cooked and eaten, stuffed with pie. Now we're off to bed early, because we have to get up at 5am and rush out to the stores in order to (a) take advantage of the early bird day-after-Christmas sales and (b) fight the lines in order to exchange our shabby gifts we've received with the stuff we wanted in the first place.
The Meaning of Christmas
Whether you subscribe to a religious or a secular view of what Christmas is, I really don't think the above scenario honors anyone or anything or any ideal.
In fact we had a marvelous, quiet and gentle Christmas. Last night we had the Hope College Vespers and the Calvin (College) Oratorio Society Messiah on public television. As the weather last night canceled many midnight church services, I noted several on the television. This morning we played a VCR tape of the Yule Log with Christmas carols, and saw most of A Christmas Story on TBS. (grin) As for the rest of Christmas, most of our presents were some 600 miles away, but we had a box from relatives and another from my grad school officemate, so we were not without some little festivity. But even if we were without presents, it would've been sufficient for us.
Calls to relatives in both Chicago and Greensboro showed that everyone was having a wonderful Christmas as well -- and that is wonderful news, too.
As For The Crap
We've avoided all the malls and stores at Black Friday and before Christmas, and we shan't partake of that madness after Christmas as well. Does that make us bad people, unwilling to help the economy? No. We just aren't that consumer oriented. We're just shy people who hate crowds and the stupidity which is so very unseasonal. When we lived in the U.P. we were forced to do a lot of our Christmas shopping by mail order -- now we do much of it online.
And for the record I shall write late into the night, go to bed around 4am, sleep til 10, and reflect on a wonderful, if unexpected, lovely and quiet Christmas at home.