This is my husband’s third Christmas. Ever. Let me explain.
Growing up, John did not celebrate any holidays, including his birthday, because he was raised a Jehovah’s Witness. (If you are not familiar with this group, other than the proselytizing, door-to-door part of their public presence, check out the official Jehovah’s Witnesses page at wikipedia. OR for an outside-having-been-inside viewpoint, explore FreeMinds.org.) Before we met, he left that church-like, religion-ish cult. Thank God. But some of the mental patterning remained, and so he had never celebrated Christmas.
Our first Christmas married, 2010, we had no tree. Our second Christmas, I put up a wreath crammed with ornaments from my childhood. By early December 2012, I suggested we drag the fake one out of the shed, left there by the previous owner, and maybe just use the top section in a centerpiece. Sweetly, John said, “If you really want a tree we should just get a real one.”
Squee! I had married my wonderful husband with ne’er a hope for my very own, real live, gin-scented Christmas tree. And here it only took two years for him to come around! Having cleared that hurdle, we began negotiating, you know, the IMPORTANT stuff, like, white lights or multicolored? Garlands or bows? Angel or star topper?
Here’s where we get a bit technical about the Christmas story. As a JW, John grew up believing that the star that led the wise men to Jesus was created and sent by The Devil. Yes, you read that correctly. It must have been, you see, says the Watchtower, because the star signaled the baby Messiah’s location. Basically, the star was an evil GPS tracker for King Herod, who tried to kill baby Jesus. Therefore, the star of Bethlehem, a symbol of Christmas peace pasted on greeting cards, adorning evergreens everywhere, is a bad thing.
All to say, John was kind of against putting the symbol he once believed was evil on top of our tree.
Instead, cheekily, he chose an action figure of Onslaught, a lesser-known Marvel character from the 1990’s, to don the top of our first marital Christmas tree. Special.
No really, it was VERY special. It reflected both his interests and my interest in making him happy so I could have the tree in the first place. And because the Christmas ritual is fueled by unique traditions, we decided, arms around each other, smiling, gazing up at the magenta and purple-clad Onslaught action figure, that we must never have anything expected on top of our tree.
So what to crown our amazing tree with this year? Why, a timey-wimey, bigger on the inside, beautiful blue box, of course! Nothing says “Bow ties [and Christmas] are cool!” better than our very own TARDIS flying in, reminding us to be ready for anything. Because the unexpected is always around the corner. Be it a timelord, or THE Lord, arriving as a baby in a manger, at just the right time, to save us from a broken, sinful world.
Did I just compare Dr. Who to Jesus Christ?
Why, yes, Allison, yes you did.
So that is why we have a TARDIS on top of our tree. I wonder what will dress the top of our tree next year…
What Christmas or other holiday traditions are off-beat at your house this time of year? Leave a comment! Would love to hear from you! Hope your holidays are full of wonderful surprises.