“It was the kind of Christmas I can’t seem to capture today. Or do I?”
I’ve struggled with that since my mission, trying to understand why I can’t seem to recreate the sense of Christmas from my youth.
The best answer I’ve found so far is that freedom from responsibility is essential to the “Christmas feeling”. It’s knowing that everything is alright, no one is expecting anything of you, and that if you take a few hours (or days) to sit and read a good book, the world won’t fall apart.
Other people’s Christmas experiences are different from mine (I guess that addresses your words on Bergson), but I believe that peace and freedom from stress are what made Christmas special for me as a child, and what I, as a husband and parent, find much harder to create.
May we recognize our dependence on Him whose birth we celebrate this day and allow that realization to grant us the peace and freedom from stress we used to feel as children. May we celebrate his childhood by rediscovering ours and putting away the stressful counterfeit that the world has built around our childhood celebrations. Our adult responsibilities need not rob us of the magic and wonder of this day, but it requires a conscious decision not present in the days of our youth. Then we simply could experience it; now we must "recreate" it in our own unique circumstances - whether that be surrounded by family or alone.
MERRY CHRISTMAS, one and all.