WATERCOOLER: Christmas is better with a little faith
ONE of my children had a troublesome episode with the God of Christmas last week.
He wanted God to speak to him, to show him a sign that "He was real".
We were at Wilson's Prom and he was wandering on the beach alone, beseeching this God who Christians claim created the world to say just one word.
He wanted this God who sent his son to Earth and is the reason tomorrow we will celebrate Christmas to show himself.
He wanted a Bruce Almighty revelation. Even just being able to walk on water for one second would work.
He called me to his secluded spot on the beach.
I could tell he was distraught and I was worried what had gone wrong.
He told me God wouldn't talk to him. He wouldn't show him a single sign and he wondered if He was real?
Or, perhaps even worse, was he not worthy of God's special attention?
Is it possible to truly celebrate Christmas even if you're not religious? How does your faith impact how you mark, or ignore, the Christmas season?
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It's hard as a parent to know how to explain to your child the foundation of your faith system which seems so flimsy in the 21st Century computer-generated era of marvellous things.
It's even harder when some Christians proclaim their miraculous God-encounters which include falling to the ground and sprinkles of gold dust.
How could he believe in Christmas, if he had no reason to believe in the birth of Christ because God wouldn't talk to him?
Was God any more real than Santa Claus and if He was, why didn't he count enough for a moment of his time?
I could only share my experience.
I also spent years in my childhood waiting to hear God "speak". I was expecting to hear a male human voice uttering my name through the clouds as I was surrounded by white light.
It never happened.
What role does Christian faith play in how you celebrate Christmas?
This poll ended on 24 January 2015.
He is the reason for the season, so He is at the centre of my Christmas.
I don't believe in any gods or religions so Christmas is about family for me
I don't believe in the Christian god, so I don't mark Christmas at all
I'm religious but not Christian, and still celebrate Christmas
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
I spent years asking God to perform a miracle, like bending the spoon in my hand - nothing as complicated as moving a mountain.
Was I disillusioned? Did it negate my belief in God? Yes and yes.
It was only when I walked away from my faith that I began to see the impact of that baby born in Bethlehem.
I had to marvel why a made-up faith would continue to give people hope 2000 years after the person at the centre of it died.
Why would people sacrifice their lives throughout the centuries and especially today, as we have seen with ISIS, for something you can't see, you can't feel and have no irrefutable proof is real?
Why is it so many people choose the name Jesus Christ as their preference for a swear word if it has no meaning?
Why would so many people want to dilute the word Christmas, which has been there since the 4th Century, to "happy holidays" or "season's greetings" if it was a harmless myth like Santa Claus?
We spend so much time wanting to "experience" God, as my son did, we fail to see Him.
It's like the baby in the mother's womb saying "I don't have a mother" because it can't see the very being that sustains its life.
Christmas is a marvellous celebration of someone who has an incredible impact on the world.
Let's not forget that as we celebrate tomorrow.
Merry Christmas and see you next year.