My teeth get set on edge at the way the world treats Christmas now -- "Happy Holidays" and "Season's Greetings" and so forth, while at the same time denying and in many cases suppressing the reason why we have a holiday in the first place.
(Indeed, it's only a matter of time before the pagans and wiccans start weaselling in, claiming that Christmas is really one of their holidays, that got made over by an overbearing church in medieval times. One of them already tried to pitch that lie in a local newspaper the other day -- you know, the "we were here first" BS, which is a sleight of hand to keep us from remembering that it is written ... In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2)
On the other hand, though, I never really thought I was old enough to have actually experienced what might be called an "old-fashioned Christmas", but the memory of that started coming back earlier this week at Stanley Park. It's called "Bright Nights", and it's a wondrous show of Christmas lights and displays: trees lit up from top to bottom, animated light shows, the miniature train, taking people on rides through a wonderland of even more displays; there are hundreds of Santa Clauses of varying shapes and sizes, "toyland magical" scenes. No Nativity scenes, but the high school band on hand played Christmas carols, and the gigantic "Joy To The World" installation kept the season in focus.
And it hit me: this is the Christmas I remember. Toys and wonder and lights and warmth on a cold night and Santa lurking just around the corner ... but the whole thing was seen through the lens of the One Whose birthday we're celebrating.
For that ... a heartfelt "Thank you" to the Vancouver Fire Department, the numerous schools that took part, and the Vancouver Park Board for bringing it all together! And Merry Christmas -- in keeping with the situation!
That's me on the right