Christmas is about Love

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year, despite the cold here in Colorado. I love seeing all the lights around my neighborhood, the time spent with family, and of course Christmas music.

Everyone seems to have their own sacred rules for when it’s appropriate to start playing Christmas music. Some people hold off until December while others break out their favorite Christmas album the day after thanksgiving. You also have the people who would be happy to play Christmas music year round. I think those people usually break out the Holliday tunes around August. I personally find myself somewhere in the middle. Some years I can’t wait to get past thanksgiving so I can start my holiday playlist, other years it’s not until far later in the season.

This year I’ve had RuPaul’s “Slay Bells” on repeat. I know it may seem like a slightly unorthodox (or very stereotypical) choice to get into the Christmas spirit, but I love the upbeat melodies and positive themes. Though I enjoy most of the songs on the album, the one that stands out is “Christmas is about Love” I’d encourage you to give the whole song a listen, but I’ve gone ahead and typed up the first verse below.

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“Store-bought gifts, they’re OK,

but Christmas ain’t about what you give or you get,

unless of course it’s from the heart.

Your friendship is a treasure people never forget.

Some need love,

some need truth,

some need time to heal the wounds.

So give your brother what he needs now.

Some need love,

some need truth,

some need time to heal the wounds.

So give your sister what she needs now.

From my house to your house Christmas is about love.”

I really really love the hook in this song “Some need love, some need truth, some need time to heal the wounds. So give your sister what she needs now.” While this time of year is really beautiful and special, it’s also a time of over-functioning, over-spending, and generally over doing it that’s leaves many of us going into the new year broke and absolutely exhausted. That’s not what any of us need.

Some need love,

Who do you know that could use a little extra love this season? The holidays can be a really rough time for a lot of people. Immediately I think of gay or trans folks I know going back home to families that don’t understand or accept them. I think of people who aren’t out to their families and have to suffer through pretending to be someone they’re not. I also think of people I know who have lost close friends or family who won’t be around on Christmas this year. What can we do to love these people better?

Some need Truth

I kind of wanted to skip this one. Truth is hard. Whether it’s speaking truth to power or speaking truth to ourselves and one another it’s often easier to ignore the truth in favor of a more palatable version of ourselves and of the world around us. The problem is ignoring the truth keeps us in bondage. Ignoring the truth is what keeps us addicted, or over-functioning, or a plethora of other unhealthy behaviors. There is power in hearing the truth. There is power in hearing you are a beloved child of God just as you are. There is power in the truth that the size of your bank account does not define you, nor your waist size, nor your degree, nor your job title, nor by any other superficial measurement. It’s been said “The Truth will set you free, but not before it’s done with you.” We need truth spoken to us. We need to release false versions of ourselves that we cling to. What truths do we need to be telling one another? What truths do we need to be hearing going into the new year?

Some need time to heal the wounds

I remember the first time I heard this song; this is the line that stood out to me the most. It’s not something you hear in most Christmas songs. When most lines are about tinsel on the tree, shimmering lights, and dreamy nights by the fire, singing about needing time to heal from the wounds that were inflicted over the last year sticks out like a sore thumb. We’ve all been there though, it’s a simple fact of life that some years are incredibly shitty. Sometimes consecutive years are shitty and people need time to recover. What’s more beautiful when someone’s hurting than to give them the time that they need to recover, to say it’s ok, or even better to say it’s ok not to be ok. Healing takes time and having someone to be there for you while you’re in the healing process is a love that goes beyond words.

So give your brother/sister what she needs now.

The lines about giving people what they really need are all great examples, but how do we really know what our friends and family need? Isn’t a gift good enough? No doubt a gift is certainly easier. To know someone, to truly know someone takes time, it takes energy, and it takes commitment. In other words it takes loves.

While I seriously doubt RuPaul set out to write a theologically sound Christmas song, I’d argue that Ru accomplished just that. Christmas is about love. You don’t have to look far to see that love is the central theme of Jesus’s ministry while here on earth. John 3:16, the most widely known verse of the Bible and often one of the verses pointed at to explain all of Christianity starts out with the words “For God so loved the world”. 1 Corinthians repeats over and over the importance of love, using phrases like “if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.” In John 13 Jesus gives one of this last commandments to his disciples while he was here on earth. Saying,

34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

With so much ugliness in the world today, and much of it rooted in nonsensical “Christian” culture wars (war on Christmas anyone?) what better time is there for us to take a step back and think about how things would look if we really did make Christmas about love. Who would we make more time for? How would we see things differently? How could we love more deeply?

Happy Holidays my friends. Let’s all make Christmas about love this year.

⁃ Cody

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