I don't have traditional Christmas memories. No green and red lights strung through cedar boughs. No Christmas tree hung with silver bells and tinsel and ornaments. No carols, no Santa, no stockings, no presents, no choirs of angels. No angels of any kind.
Our family didn't celebrate Christmas.
My parents were part of an extreme sect of fundamentalist Christians who believed that celebrating Christmas was a perverse form of idolatry. For my brother and I, that made us different, odd, freakish. We weren't Jewish or Muslim. There was no acceptable reason for our celebration-less Christmases. It felt sinful to even ask and our parents offered no explanation. Ever.In my Winnipeg childhood, my brother and I stood with our mother in the cold slush of Portage Avenue, enthralled as we gazed into the world behind the windows of Eaton's or the Bay. Apple-cheeked children glided over mirrored ponds, elves and reindeer cavorted in cottony white snow and the ubiquitous train circled the snowy village, tooting its little horn as it sailed past lamp-lit shops and tiny churches. It was a world that surely encompassed every child's Christmas dream.
Traditional COGophiles may scream "bah, humbug!" but it's a great bit of human interest journalism. Though the church is not identified by name, we're apparently talking pre-Tkach WCG.