I’m usually a lot better prepared for Christmas. Not this year.

This year, the week to trump all weeks caught us off-guard.

We missed a beat or two in preparation for the only few weeks capable of slowing down the Western world. The weeks that remind the Scrooges and time-poor alike that life is more than hyper-consumerism and a dreary, soul-sucking 8-5 existence.

A rushed Christmas is not really Christmas at all.

There’s good precedent for this, which means there is still hope for my sloppy approach.

Wise Men

After the contemplative season of Advent, traditionally, Christmas doesn’t end until 6th January — Epiphany — when the Christian faith marks the arrival of three wise men from Arabia, India and Persia.

That trio of travellers took their time. There was no urgency to get to Bethlehem. Their target was Zion (Jerusalem), to meet the infant Messiah (the firstborn of the dead), the foretold King of kings.

Bobbing up and down through the desert sands, most probably travelling at night, there was no frenzied urgency in sight.

The only time we hear of any swift movement from their dust-covered camel convoy is when the trio of astronomers exit Jerusalem. As they avoided the bloodthirsty wrath of King Herod. They refused to act as his agents of death.

Like Herod, it’s too easy to let a morose sense of emergency, mock, sap, and overtake the wisdom, joy, and anticipation found in the men from the Middle East.

These are two very different models of Christmas in “die-hard” dad mode.

The first clings to Christmas to serve his own self-interest; the second serves selflessly.

The Magi have no interest in pompous platitudes, mind games, or political pettiness.

Both Herod and the Magi sought after the Christ-child. The greater difference between the two was their agenda: Herod rushes in to take a life; the others arrive prepared to give breath to it.

The Magi sensed Herod’s panic. They had the wisdom to see through the first Christmas’ frenzied and fearful authoritarian.

Dedication to the Celebration

Despite the despot’s obstacles, the men from the East famously made their way to Bethlehem around the chaos to the Christ-child in peace.

Unlike me this Christmas, they weren’t caught off-guard.

Father-of-one Paul Hutchinson is more like them. The British dad from Sunderland is mad about bringing Christmas to life with his amazing light show in his front yard.

Defying the oppressive increase in energy bills, Metro Mag reported how Hutchinson has refused to let it shrivel him up like Scrooge.

“I do it for the community, no one talks to each other anymore and it’s a shame,” he said.

Hutchinson added,

“[The celebration] brings people together and is a conversation starter. We have kids posing with the tree in the garden. It’s wonderful to see. It costs me £18 per day, as opposed to £7 per day before the decorations go up. But it’s worth it to see the kid’s faces when they walk past.”

Rather than surrender his timestamped father-and-son tradition of blanketing their house in festive lights, the 33-year-old is holding the line.

In a similar way to the Magi, Hutchinson is modelling Christmas in “die-hard” dad mode.

Perhaps there is another category: “die-hard” grandfather mode. This video shows you how it’s done. With 1.7 million views, it cannot be wrong.

None of the three wise men were paralysed by the impossibility or the challenge before them.

They were prepared to take the hits. To suffer the cost of doubling down on Christmas in their self-sacrificial service to others.

By doing so, they matched their pace with the Prince of Peace, for a rushed Christmas is not really Christmas at all.


Photo by Fernando Estel/Wikimedia Commons

Published On: December 15th, 20220 CommentsTags: , , , , , ,

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

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