Why We Need Christmas

I saw the coolest Christmas surprise today. It was shared on unlooker. In the video (below), Westjet airlines sets up a live web cam between passengers waiting for a flight and Santa Claus.


Santa asks each one’ of them what they want for Christmas. And while those passengers are in the air, the Westjet team scrambles to buy, wrap, and send the presents to their arrival destination. It really is a fun, lovable, heart warming snippet of generosity. And it made me ask the question: What is it about Christmas that we love so much?

I think we love the idea of getting past our ideas on what is “reasonable.” As liberated as you would like to think you are, the western world is really a pretty harsh place to live. There are rules of behavior, and some of those rules are to live wisely. I have nothing against wisdom, but I do wonder what the toll of always trying to control and discern is to our souls.

Wisdom tells us not to trust. Wisdom tells us to set aside for our own futures and don’t be too generous. Wisdom tells us not to share. And wisdom tells us that it’s not reasonable to get too into faith, fun, relationships, or opening our arms wide to receive others.

But Christmas puts us in this place where we have permission to think past what’s wise or reasonable. In order to participate in Christmas, you have to be wiling to embrace the absurd. Flying reindeer, a jolly old man, and elves are only part of it.Christmas allows us the opportunity, if only for a moment, to say that we don’t know it all, and we’re willing to table the discussion of whether it’s all reasonable or not to just be together. To share. To laugh. To dream. To say what we really need and not be embarrassed. It allows us to be fully human — broken and longing, and yet willing to bring what we have to the table.

To me, that’s the magic of Christmas. And I love that my God is associated with THAT. With the magic and wonder of this human, frail life that reasonably amounts to little more than carbon atoms, and yet has a power and transcendence that’s not it’s own. God with us. God with us, indeed.