For most of human history, winter was a terrifying symbol of death. A significant portion of a village was going to die before spring. The crops withered and people huddled together as nature demonstrated its dominance over life. Christmas was a celebration of warmth, light, and food in the middle of freezing snows, short days, and starvation. It was a communal scream into the night, “We have hope and we are still alive.”

It’s easy to think of Christmas as a series of obligations and simply go through the motions of tradition, but I think we need a real, intense Christmas again. Even for those of us who are confident we’ll make it through winter, there is still more than enough fear in our lives to go around. I want to get the holiday back to the assault on fear it is meant to be.

Come back on January 9th for the next page!