OK, before all the angry comments start, I’m talking about Secular Christmas here, which I celebrate even as a non-Christian. I stand by the title of the post, though. While Christmas with the family is great, it really is for children. When my sister and I were in college, we would come home to spend the holidays with our family, but it really was just another visit. On Christmas Day during those years, everyone would roll out of bed whenever they wanted. We would eat breakfast and wait for other relatives (mainly my grandfather) to show up before we would even consider opening presents. Now I got some great gifts, don’t get me wrong, but there wasn’t that sense of wonder or excitement.
Now that I’m a father, I see how Christmas really should be. My three year old got us up early and was completely blown away that Santa had been there while we were asleep. Every new present was a new high for her (and they all had to get opened before food was even considered). To quote my favorite Christmas special of all time (The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus), “In all this world, there is nothing so beautiful as a happy child.” Christmas morning is the most perfect illustration for this and without it, it’s really just another day.