Ever since we as a family stepped out of the mad holiday rush, we have been able to watch the game from the sidelines. It's a lot more entertaining from the bleachers than down in the scrum.
No presents. No Santa. No tree. No decorations. Not even a can of Who Hash. And I don't miss it, not even a tinsel of a bit.
We don't have to fight the crowds at the shopping malls, worry about what we're going to get for Aunt What's-her-name, find just the right tree, fuss over how presents are opened, make sure everyone poses for the camera, clean up the mess, etc, etc.
On Christmas morning, we awake without an alarm, having rested well after suffering no last-minute-preparation anxieties. While the kids roll out of bed, we make cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate and serve them piping hot. With everyone gathered around, maybe with a fire crackling, we read Luke chapter two and talk about the coming of Jesus, our Savior.
No one is sad about not getting that special gift, because no one expected anything. Every child is warm, filled, and happy, even without the latest XBox game, the newest IPod, or the right label on their sweatshirts or the back pockets of their jeans. They have everything they need.
Call me a Scrooge or a Grinch, but we love it this way. And don't tell me that I'm missing out on the fun, because I understand the Christmas game very well. After all, I played it for years. I even carved the roast beast.
But now that I'm sitting back with my mug of hot chocolate, I'll just watch everyone else go crazy. The view is very interesting here on the sidelines. The madness is ... well ... enlightening.
Now if I can just find a radio station that plays something other than "Jingle Bell Rock"!