When Christmas Was Easy

For nostalgia junkies, there’s nothing better than Christmas nostalgia. Danielle Bean indulges at Inside Catholic.

“Not too long ago, I happened upon some old video Dan and I took of ourselves about a dozen Christmases ago when we recorded the process of bringing a freshly cut Blue Spruce fir tree into our living room,” she writes.

“With a baby slung over one arm, I smilingly guided Dan’s maneuvering of the tree around corners and cooed at our ‘helpful’ toddler. Dan groused a bit about the weight of the 12-foot tree and the prickliness of its needles, but still he flashed a toothy grin as he passed the camera.”

“We hammed it up for the camera, smooching the babies’ faces and telling made-up stories about the perils we faced when cutting down the tree. Then we hung lights, strung cranberries with popcorn, and shared an eggnog.”

“It wasn’t our wrinkle-free complexions that made me want to pinch the cheeks of our former selves. It wasn’t even those size 0 jeans that made us seem so attractive.

“It was our simplicity. It was our earnestness. It was our simple, singular focus on giving all that we had to this thing — this family life — to which God had called us.”

My theory is that if the Beans are filming this Christmas, 12 years from now she’ll look back on it with the same delight in how simple and intense Christmas was “back then.”

Didn’t C.S. Lewis call nostalgia a foretaste of heaven? Nostalgia looks at the past and strips all the complications and distractions off of an experience, leaving only its core of pure, sweet goodness.

And that’s how heaven will be: Outside time, past and present will be united, and so the sweetness of nostalgia will fill us now.

Which is to say heaven is the place not just where it’s always Christmas, but the place where Christmas is always like we remember.

— Tom Hoopes

President Donald Trump during his speech at a "Thank You" Tour rally held at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa.

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