Christmas is full of traditions–food, decorations, customs, family gathering. A lot is the same, year after year, isn’t it? And we like it. How would you complete the sentence: “It’s not really Christmas, unless…”
Last year I celebrated Christmas in a for me new way. I was with my Filipino family. The food, the climate, the culture, the tradition–nothing was what I’m used to. Christmas was still Christmas, it was the same but different. When you step out of your comfort zone, what you know and are used to, my experience it that it’s a great way to get new perspectives. And when that happens your knowledge isn’t just widened, but a new dimension can be found. I once came across a name for this: The binocular theory of change.
We have two eyes for a reason, since both provide a slightly different image. If the differences are enough, but not too much, the two images can be combined into a three dimensional image. If the images are too similar, they remain flat. If they are too different, they can’t be combined into anything useful. The interesting thing is that this is mutually beneficial. Both flat images gain and share the new dimension.
Some ideas how to get new perspectives this Christmas
(Other than going to the Philippines, which I–for the record–recommend)
- Read another translation of the Bible than your usual/favourite.
- Go to a different church during one of the services (or listen to a sermon online, on telly or radio)
- Consider not doing what you completed the sentence above with: “It’s not really Christmas, unless…” and figure out how it would be Christmas anyway.
With this I wish you all a Happy Christmas in advance.