Listen to and interview about the Writing of My First Book My Dancing Day
Read an excerpt From My Dancing Day: Reflections of the Incarnation in Art and Music
Haven’t you ever longed for a deeper experience of Christmas, something more spiritual and a little less commercial? Perhaps you have always loved Christmas, but somewhere along the way it became so filled with obligations that you feel trapped, and you wish you could slow down and find simpler ways of celebrating the holiday.
Wouldn’t it be great if the Christmas season was a time of refreshment of our spirit? In years past I would hear people declare, “Jesus is the reason for the season.” This sentiment left me a little puzzled. I didn’t really understand the meaning of this slogan. I had lived a lifetime as a Christian, totally missing the importance of the season.Instead of hearing it as a call to learn more about the wonders and bright mysteries of Christ’s birth, I would hear it as some sort of guilt trip, spoken by Scrooge-like people who wanted to spoil all the pleasures of Christmas for me. I didn’t want to focus my mind for any length of time on a bunch of Bible stories about something that happened over two thousand years ago. I was more attracted to all the things that sparkled and danced before my eyes, which were, even as an adult,the eyes of a child... or a child at heart.And so, each year became a continuing effort to recreate the magical celebrations of my youth. This usually meant keeping myself very busy with all kinds of fanciful distractions.I would begin by poring over my cookbooks and making plans for tasty indulgences to fill my kitchen. Then I would diligently study catalogues to find the perfect gift for each member of my family. In time my tree soon became overloaded with ornaments of all shapes and sizes. I just couldn’t get enoughof Christmas.
After a while, however, these things became tiresome and empty to me. People didn’t react to my gifts as I had hoped, and unpacking the many boxes of decorations became a huge chore that I began to realize I would just have to do in reverse two weeks later. Then came the year when I thought,“What if I didn’t even get all this stuff out?...