Sometimes I'm not too sure what to make of Christmas. I'm a non-practising Catholic meaning once my parents couldn't make me go to church, I stopped going. Actually, I wouldn't even claim to be Christian. I'm fairly cynical about institutional religions of any kind. However, we still celebrate Christmas. It would seem mean not to. We try to make sure the kids understand we're celebrating the birth of Jesus and not the coming of Santa Claus. I might not be very convincing though. We also try to emphasize charity and downplay consumerism but that message also tends to get drowned in the frenzy of figuring out who gets what.
Santa Claus still visits our house. The kids each have a stocking at the end of their bed. In the morning, they open the presents they find in them and then have to wait until Mom and Dad are up before they can open the presents under the Christmas tree. R* was up at 3am and waited until 6am before she woke K*. R* then woke us up at 7am and brought us mugs of tea to induce us to come downstairs where we took turns opening presents in front of a blazing fire.
We hosted Christmas dinner for all our local relatives this year. Jenny and my cousin, Neil, orchestrated an orgy of eating and drinking which I valiantly tried to do justice to until it hurt to swallow any more. We then sat around the dinner table playing Cranium (excellent game). So for us, I'd say Christmas is more of a celebration of family and friends and trying to think of others.
Whatever it means to you, I hope you all enjoyed a Merry Christmas.